The Indian Air Force (IAF) will feature in multi-nation war games in South Africa next month with the US, German and British air forces, and the event is likely to be witnessed by visiting Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Riding on the crest of the success of its Jaguars in a similar exercise in Alaska last month, the IAF will be represented by four Mirage 2000 fighter bombers in "Exercise Golden Eagle".
"The contingent, led by Group Captain T.S. Ahluwalia, will leave the Gwalior air force base on Sep 11 with an IL-76 heavy transport plane and an IL-78 refuelling aircraft," the IAF chief, Air Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy said here Friday.
"President Kalam is likely to be in South Africa around that time to witness the exercise, being hosted by the South African Air Force," he added.
A similar exercise has been planned in India with the Singapore Air Force in October, with the visitors participating with six F-16 fighters.
As part of its efforts to familiarise itself with modern warfare, the IAF plans to hold another round of such exercises in France, the US and Britain next year.
"Our participation in the fortnight-long Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder 04-01, hosted by the US in Alaska near Canada in July has brought laurels to the country, thanks to the high precision displayed by the fighter pilots in penetrating air defences and scoring direct hits on ground targets in the mountain ranges," Krishnaswamy stated.
The IAF had sent six Jaguars, two IL-76 heavy transporters, two IL-78 refuellers and a contingent of 200 personnel, led by Group Captain S. Nanodkar.
Air forces from the Asia-Pacific and NATO countries such as Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Germany and Britain too participated.
Early this year, a similar exercise was conducted by the IAF at Gwalior, where the US Air Force participated with F-15Cs and the combat skills of Indian pilots drew much appreciation.