Joint Indo-US Air Force Maneuver Gets Underway

A five-day joint maneuver involving the Indian Air Force and the United States Air Force transport aircraft, Cope India-09, got off to a flying start at the Agra Air Force base on Monday.

The US team comprising of over 150 airmen, three C-130H Hercules, one C-17 Globemaster III, and one C-130J aircraft while the IAF will field one IL-76 Gajraj, four AN-32 Sutlej, two MI-17 Pratap, and one Chetak Alouette III aircraft for the exercise.

The participants will exchange airlift, air land and airdrop delivery techniques and participate in aero medical and disaster management exercises involving medium and heavy lift transport aircraft.

Inaugurating the exercises, US Ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer said: “The United States is ready to support India in its drive to modernise its armed forces.”

Ambassador Roemer also dispelled fears over reliability of America as a supplier of defence equipment to India.

“I know that some are apprehensive about reliability of the United States as a supplier of military equipment to India. I can tell you that our relationship is far different than it was even a few years back,” he said.

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