Subscribe Free
in Defence / Features

Oman continues to build bridges with India

Posted 25 September 2017 · Add Comment

The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has completed the latest in a reciprocal series of joint exercises with the Indian Air Force (IAF). Jon Lake reports.

For Exercise Eastern Bridge IV, the RAFO deployed five Block 50 F-16C/D Air Defence Fighters from No 18 Squadron at Thumrait to Air Force Station Jamnagar in Gujarat, India.
The Omani F-16s exercised with IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKI and MiG-29 fighters, MiG-27 fighter-bombers and SEPECAT Jaguar maritime strike aircraft.
The Eastern Bridge series of exercises began in October 2009, when India and Oman were the last operators of the SEPECAT Jaguar, and when six Indian Jaguars, crewed by pilots from ‘Flaming Arrows’ and ‘Cobras’, at Gorakhpur, deployed to Thumrait.
For Eastern Bridge II, six RAFO Jaguars deployed to Jamnagar in October 2011, where they worked with IAF Jaguars and MiG-29s.
Eastern Bridge III, in October 2013, saw a return to Oman, and six IAF Jaguars from No 6 Squadron deployed to Masirah, where they exercised with RAFO Jaguar, Hawk and F-16 aircraft.
Eastern Bridge survived the retirement of the Middle East Jaguars in August 2014, with the RAFO F-16 force picking up the mantle.
The RAFO views Eastern Bridge as an important tool in maintaining its operational effectiveness and readiness.
Eastern Bridge IV marked the second exercise in India, and the RAFO F-16 contingent arrived in Jamnagar on January 14 prior to the start of the exercise two days later. This was the first time that RAFO F-16s had participated in an exercise outside the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
The Omani contingent was led by RAFO commander, Air Vice Marshall Mattar Bin Ali Al Ubaidani, a former Jaguar pilot, who met his opposite number, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force, who was himself a former frontline Jaguar pilot.
Though Oman was the first Gulf Cooperation Council country to establish a regular series of bilateral exercises with the Indian Air Force, the success of Eastern Bridge has led to a similar series of exercises between the Indian Air Force and the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence.
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Dubai Air Navigation Services and SERCO Middle East sign contract

At its head quarter’s in Dubai International Airport (DXB), Dubai Air Navigation Services (dans) have signed a supplementary agreement with SERCO Middle East.

Airbus throws spotlight on Tactilon Dabat to develop apps for local security agencies

Airbus will throw the spotlight on the Tactilon Dabat, the world's first integrated smartphone and full TETRA radio--all rolled into one, during their first time participation at the 20th edition of Intersec, the world’s leading trade

RJ to start flying to Copenhagen in early June

Royal Jordanian will launch a new direct service to Denmark's capital, Copenhagen, as of June 3, 2018.

UAE and Izmir get connected with Air Arabia

The UAE and Turkey's third city - Izmir - will be connected later with direct flights to Sharjah with Air Arabia.

End of an era for Gulfstream

The last of one of the industry's best-selling business jets has been delivered.

Jazeera adds an Indian double to its destinations

Kuwait low cost carrier, Jazeera Airways, has begun flights into Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad and to Kochi - the second and third new routes currently planned in to India, following the launch of flights to

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
AIME BT1204240118ArabianTravelMkBT250418Aviation Africa BT18418Istanbul Airshow BT22018MEBAA BT2018Global Aerospace BT2018Abu Dhabi AirExpo BT2018BIAS BT271017161118Saudi Future Airports BT150318