Indian Air Forces frontline Sukhoi, Mirage 2000 and upgraded Mig Bisons would cross swords with the United States Air Force F-16 fighting falcons in the second series of joint fighter exercises in November this year.
The pilots of the two air forces would match their skills in close range as well as beyond visual range combats over Kalikunda airbase in West Bengal. In their first test of wits, the Indian pilots had got the better of their American counterparts in Gwalior last year.
But the contest that time had been between the US F-15's and the Indian SU-30's and Bisons. And the US air force this time are bringing in their Fighting Falcons that too of Batch 50-52's, the latest upgrades series.
According to top IAF officials, 8 to 12 American F-16's would be taking part in the exercise 'Cope Thunder Three' and India, besides the Su-30MKI and SU-30K, would field the Mig-27s, Mirage 2000 and Mig Bisons.
The US officials have been very keen to have a closer look at India's just acquired SU-30MKI. In the past, New Delhi has spurned invitations for the frontline fighters to visit America for taking part in multi-nation air exercises.