A total of 84 Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel took part in the international multilateral combat exercise Blue Flag 2021, along with IAF’s Mirage 2000 aircraft squadron at Israel’s Ovda Airbase.
- The exercise involves Air Force missions from 8 countries, to share knowledge and combat experience to improve operational capabilities. It was held for 2 weeks in Israel from October 17 to 28, 2021.
- Theme: Integration of fourth and fifth-generation aircraft in complex operational scenarios.
- Objective: To improve combat compatibility among participating countries by providing an opportunity for integrating weapon systems, combat doctrines, and operational protocols.
About Blue Flag 2021 in Brief:
i.Participants: The other Seven countries that have participated in the 2021 exercise include the US (United States), UK (United Kingdom), Germany, France, Italy, Greece, and Israel.
ii.The Indian Mirages and the French Rafale have participated in the exercise for the 1st time.
iii.A British fighter squadron was also deployed under the exercise for the first time in Israel (since the establishment of the country).
iv.Israel has described the current edition of Blue Flag as ‘Israel’s largest and most advanced aerial exercise ever’.
i.Every two years, the Israeli Air Force(IAF) holds the ‘Blue Flag’ exercise to strengthen cooperation between the nations to synchronize different types of aircraft, piloted by different countries to counter armed drones and other threats.
ii.The first Blue Flag exercise was held in 2013 and India had participated first in November 2017, when the exercise took place at the Uvda Air Force Base in Israel.
Note – During his visit to Israel, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar visited Israel’s Ovda Airbase to meet the Indian contingent participating in the biennial exercise Blue Flag 2021.
About Indian Air Force (IAF):
Chief of the Air Staff– Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari
Establishment – 8th October 1932
Motto– ‘Nabhah Sparsham Deeptham’ (Touch the sky with glory)
Capital – Jerusalem
Currency – Israeli Shekel
Prime Minister – Naftali Bennett