Indian Air Force Su-30MKI and RAF Typhoon aircraft are operating in mixed formations as part of the fourth Indradhanush exercise, a 10 day deployment demonstrating trans continental air power projection. This year the deployment includes 190 personnel operating Su-30 fighters, IL-78 tankers, C-17 strategic and C-130J tactical airlift aircraft. Photo: RAF

A 190-member Indian Air Force contingent, operating four Su-30 fighters, an IL-78 tankers, one C-17 strategic transport aircraft and one C-130J tactical airlifter, is training in the UK this week as part of a ten-day long bilateral exercise ‘Indradhanush’.

The exercise began July 21 and will last through the end of JUly. The goal of the exercise is to project air power in transcontinental deployment, as part of a task force comprising Su-30 MKI fighters, IL-78 tankers, C-17 strategic and C-130J tactical airlift aircraft.

The exercise takes place in three air bases – Su-30 MKI are operating with the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) at RAF Coningsby, the C-17 and IL-78 transport aircraft are hosted at RAF Brize Norton and GARUD Special Forces C-130J operates from RAF Honington.

The Su-30MKI from No. 2 Sqn (Winged Arrows) joined 3(F) Squadron at RAF Coningsby and fly with RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft, operating in mixed formations under various near-realistic scenarios.

No. 2 Squadron is based at Kalaikunda Air Force Station, and specializes in close air support.

The IL-78 and C-130J will also be inducted in missions along with the fighters. The C-130Js are operating with their RAF counterparts carrying out paradrops and tactical air supply missions.