In order to strengthen military cooperation and develop the operational capability, Indian Air Force for the first time is set to participate in ‘EX BLUE FLAG-17’ exercise which is going to be conducted in Israel. A 45 member contingent of the Indian Air Force left for Israel on 31 October 2017 for exercise ‘Blue Flag-17’.
The exercise is being conducted at Uvda Air Force Base in Israel from 02-16 Nov 17. The team consists of personnel from various combat elements of the IAF and is led by Gp Capt Maluk Singh VSM. This is the first time the Indian Air Force is operating with Israeli AF in a multilateral exercise setting. EX BLUE FLAG-17’ is a bi-annual multilateral exercise which aims to strengthen military cooperation amongst participating nations. Indian Air Force is participating with the C-130J special operations aircraft along with Garud commandos.
The exercise would provide a platform for sharing of knowledge, combat experience and in improving operational capability of the participating nations. Exercise Blue Flag gives the opportunity to the IAF to share and learn best practices with some of the best professionals from other Air Forces. India is Israel’s top destination for arms exports, buying 41% of export between 2012 and 2016. Israel is India’s third-largest source of arms, with a 7.2% share of imports between 2012 and 2016, next to the US (14 percent) and Russia (68 percent). And while in 2017 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel many more deals and MoUs got inked in the field of defence.