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Published: 13th Dec, 2018


A joint exercise between Indian Air Force and US Air Force- COPE INDIA 2018- was held in West Bengal recently.


  • COPE INDIA 2018 is a US Pacific Air Forces-sponsored field training exercise designed to improve mutual cooperation between the two nations.
  • This is the fourth iteration of the exercise conducted by the two militaries. 
  • It took place for the first time in 2004 as a fighter training exercise at Air Force Station Gwalior. Similar exercises were held in 2005, 2006 and 2009.
  • The airmen were trained in a range of missions, including subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises.
  • It is a long-standing bilateral US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF)-sponsored Field Training Exercise (FTX), conducted with the IAF, focused on enhancing US-Indian mutual cooperation and building on existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment.
  • The U.S. complement includes 200 U.S. Airmen with 15 aircraft from the 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan, and 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard.
  • The Indian side is being represented by Su-30MKI, Mirage-2000, Jaguar, C-130J, as well as AWACS. The Special Forces from the both the USAF and IAF are also taking part in the exercise.
  • The exercise showcases US and India’s efforts and commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
  • The restarting of the Cope India exercises suggests that U.S.-India military exercises are likely to increase in scope and intensity in the coming years.

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