Air Force Backs Down On Indo-UK Exercise 'Claims'; Says No Wins and Losses
(Source: Economic Times; published Aug. 10, 2015)
After boasting to Indian media that its Su-30s had wiped out Royal Air Force Typhoons 12-0 during a recent exercise in the UK, leading the RAF to lodge a complaint, the Indian Air Force now says there were neither losers nor winners. (Indian AF photo).
NEW DELHI --- The Air Force has backed down on claims over an absolute 'win' during a recent Indo-UK exercise with an official statement arguing that there are no 'wins and losses' during such war games. A detailed statement has come from the Air Force on exercise 'Indradhanush' that was held in the UK in July, days after reports surfaced quoting IAF officials that the Indian side had a whitewash victory.

The statement comes a day after the UK officially raised the matter with a senior diplomat bringing it to the notice of his counterpart in Delhi, as was first reported by ET. A nuanced release on the exercise says 'there are no classic wins and losses as no weapons are fired as per their actual capability'.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has been peeved by Indian reports that IAF Su 30 MKIs had a 12-0 victory over their Typhoons during the exercise. The reports partly quoted the delegation leader of the IAF for the exercise but the victory claims were attributed to unnamed officials.




Official of the RAF have commented strongly on the reports, saying that they were not based on facts and the actual result of the exercise. However, after the official protest by the UK in New Delhi, the IAF statement seeks to correct the image around the exercise, toning down the rhetoric.




"Such exercises are conducted under controlled conditions with mutually agreed weapons performance parameters, with the basic aim of learning from each other's best practices. Additional advantages that accrue are greater understanding of each other's general operational philosophy and exposure to a different operating environment," the release says.

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Indian Air Force
(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued Aug. 8, 2015)
The Times follows up reports that the Royal Air Force and its Indian equivalent were in a public dogfight yesterday over whose pilots did best in a training exercise. The piece notes that the Indians claimed a shoreline of 12-0, and includes an RAF source rebuttal saying that the claims are almost comical and designed to please a domestic audience.

The RAF’s full statement is as follows:

“An RAF spokesperson said:

“Our analysis does not match what has been reported, RAF pilots and the Typhoon performed well throughout the exercise with and against the Indian Air Force (IAF). Both nations learnt a great deal from the exercise and the RAF look forward to the next opportunity to train alongside the IAF.”

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Participation of IAF in Indo-UK Bilateral Air Exercise-Indradhanush IV – July 2015
(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued August 10, 2015)
1. The fourth edition of the Indo-UK bilateral air exercise named Indradhanush was held in the UK from 21-31 July 2015. The 190-strong contingent of the IAF left India on 15 July 2015 for the overseas deployment and returned on 04 August 2015.

2. The air elements that took part in the air exercise this time were the Su-30 MKI, IL-78 tankers, C-17 and C-130J transport aircraft from the IAF and the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Voyager tanker, C-17 and C-130J from the RAF. In addition to the aircraft, the Indian Garud commandos participated alongside their British counterparts, the RAF Regiment of the Special Forces.

3. Such exercises are conducted under controlled conditions with mutually agreed weapons performance parameters, with the basic aim of learning from each other’s best practices. Additional advantages that accrue are greater understanding of each other’s general operational philosophy and exposure to a different operating environment. In combat exercises, definite objectives are laid down for each component participating. After the exercise, during debrief, a detailed analysis is carried out to assess the extent of achievement of laid down objectives. There are no classic wins and losses as no weapons are fired as per their actual capability.

4. Mutual exchange of ideas as regards operational philosophy for tactical and strategic missions has provided invaluable learning for both sides. The exercise provided opportunity for the exchange of ideas relating to concept of operations in a dynamic warfare environment. The bonhomie amongst personnel on both sides has been exceptional and in the true spirit of a bilateral exercise.

The aircrew of both the Air Forces have performed exceptionally well, demonstrating their high standards of training, operational preparedness, flexibility and adaptability. The RAF had been very forthcoming in meeting all operational, maintenance and administrative requirements of the IAF contingent. Needless to say, the learning value from this interaction has been immense.

The IAF looks forward to continue the engagement with RAF in the future as well.

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