Eastern Bridge-VI Air Exercise

Indian Air Force (IAF) and Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) are taking part in a bilateral exercise names “Eastern Bridge- VI”, in a bid to bolster operational efficiency through interoperability.

Key Points

  • The Eastern Bridge- VI Air Exercise is started from February 21, 2022 and would conclude on February 25.
  • This is the 6th edition of the exercise, taking place at Air Force Station Jodhpur.

Aim of the exercise

This exercise is being held with the aim of providing an opportunity to enhance operational capability as well as interoperability between two Air Forces.

Significance of the exercise

Participation of IAF and RAFO in the exercise will promote professional interaction, enhancement of operational knowledge and exchange of experiences. It will also strengthen bilateral relations between both the countries. It will further provide a platform for both Air Forces to learn best practices from each other and operate together.

India’s air arsenal at the exercise

For the Exercise, IAF’s contingent will be in action, comprising of MiG-29, Mirage 2000 and Jaguar aircraft.

Background

Bilateral exercise between India and Oman is being organised after Oman’s top defence official Mohammed Nasser Al Zaabi officially visited India recently.  He also co-chaired a meeting of Joint Military Cooperation Committee, that initiated a series of high-level defence engagements between both the countries.

Last edition of the exercise

The Eastern Bridge V was held at Air Force Base Masirah, Oman, in 2019. The IAF contingent comprised of MiG-29 and C-17 aircraft. This was the first time that MIG-29 fighter aircraft participated in international exercise outside India.

India-Oman defence partnership  

Oman is among one of the strongest defence partners of India in Gulf region. All the three services in India have bilateral exchanges and exercises with Oman’s services. Oman also provides operational support to Indian Navy in Arabian Sea. India has access to the Duqm port. This port has strengthened India’s capability and maritime strategy in Indian Ocean Region.

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