On December 3, 2018, the whine of turbofans resounded over West Bengal as U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles soared down to land at Kalaikunda Air Station . Through December 15, the F-15C air superiority fighters will spar with Indian Air Force (IAF) Mirage 2000 and Su-30MKI Flanker fighters, Jaguar attack jets and A50 AWACs radar planes.
C-130Hs of the 182 nd Airlift Wing are separately practicing alongside IAF C-130J and Il-78 transport planes—all under the auspice of exercise Cope India 2019. Despite deepening ties between the U.S. and Indian military, the last Cope India exercises date back a decade or more—and caused considerable controversy.
The first in 2002 was an air transport drill that was part of a flurry of joint exercises marking the beginning of Washington’s courting of closer relations with New Delhi after 9/11. For the second, held in 2004 from February 15 to 28 Read More