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

Supersonic boost as Aerion links with Lockheed Martin

Two leaders in supersonic technology, Aerion and Lockheed Martin have announced an MOU to explore the feasibility of a joint development of the world's first supersonic business jet, the Aerion AS2. Over the next 12 months, the

NAS launches new Pearl Lounges at Marrakech Menara Airport

National Aviation Services has launched its Pearl Lounges at the Marrakech-Menara Airport in Morocco reinforcing capacities at the newly renovated airport.

CEO of Airbus to step down

Airbus has announced that its CEO Tom Enders will be leaving the company in April 2019, reports aerotime.

Flydubai touches down at Kilimanjaro International Airport

Flydubai's inaugural flight touched down today at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), increasing capacity to Tanzania and further expanding its network in Africa to twelve destinations.

Emirates takes Los Angeles Dodgers players to Dubai

Emirates, the Official Airline of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has brought all-star players Justin Turner (third baseman) and Chase Utley (second baseman) to Dubai to help further develop the game of baseball in the region.

Saab starts development and production in the UAE

Defence and security company Saab grows its presence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by establishing development and production in Abu Dhabi.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
BIAS BT271017161118Saudi Future Airports BT150318Istanbul Airshow BT22018MEBAA BT2018ArabianTravelMkBT250418AIME BT1204240118Aviation Africa BT18418