Cope India air exercise: India, Japan, US planning to host joint trilateral air exercise
India and US have agreed to elevate their bilateral ‘Cope India’ air exercise to trilateral format by including Japan. The next edition of this exercise is scheduled to be held in December 2018 for which final planning conference to finalise its modalities will held in Kalaikunda, West Bengal.
During the annual Defence Ministerial Meeting held in August 2018 between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera, it was agreed that Japan will send observers for the next round of Cope India exercises between India and US to be hosted by Indian Air Force.
To begin with, trilateral Cope India air exercise will be a small-level exercise involving transport aircraft. It will be scaled up in subsequent editions. Japan will be sending observers to this exercise. The three countries already are conducting trilateral naval war games under expanded Malabar naval exercise. But the level of interoperability in these exercises, both bilateral and trilateral are expected to go up after India had signed Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement with US.
It is series of international Air Force exercises between Indian Air Force (IAF) and United States Air Force conducted on and over Indian soil. The first such exercise was conducted at IAF air force station in Gwalior from February 2004. The exercise included flight tests, practice and demonstrations as well as lectures on subjects related to aviation. The exercise was repeated in 2005, 2006, and 2009.
Category: Defence Current Affairs