the Eastern sector, in November this year. Code named "Cope India" the exercise is expected to follow a pattern similar to that of "Cope Thunder" held between the two nations last year at Alaska.
According to Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command (EAC), Air Marshal FH Major, 'Cope India' would be the "largest" exercise so far and would feature "all the frontline aircraft" of the two Air Forces.
"The joint exercise will feature F16s from the US along with advanced aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF)," Major said. The joint exercise would be an "interesting learning curve" and will help the ongoing military cooperation between India and the US, he said.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is also to provide the Indian army with air support to fight insurgents in the Northeast, subject to the Centre's official nod for such counter-insurgency operations.
The "low intensity operation" against the insurgents would be aided by the IAF with light-armed aircrafts and combat helicopters to help the army "corner insurgents and speed up operations", said the newly appointed Chief of the Eastern Air Command (EAC), Air Marshal FH Major.
Major said such operations were "tricky" taking into consideration the fact that insurgents were in the midst of innocent civilian population. The IAF would ensure that "our own people" are not affected by such operations, he said.
On Indo-Myanmar cooperation to flush out militants who had set up base in that country, Major said that the EAC was "cooperating with Myanmar and sharing intelligence" for the benefit of the two Nations.
Given the strategic importance of the command, which looks after a region that shares it border with five countries, the EAC was in the process of procuring modern equipment, he said. Radar capable of detecting low flying aircraft would be deployed in the region, he added.