Security Issues

Exercise Cope India 23

The Indian Air Force (IAF) fighters, including the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Rafale, SU-30MKI, and Jaguars, will take part in the bilateral air exercise Cope India 23 alongside US Air Force (USAF) F-15 fighters and B-1B long-range bombers.

Exercise Cope India

  • Cope India began as a fighter training exercise at Air Station Gwalior in 2004.
  • In addition to fighter-training exercises, the exercise has developed to include subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training, and large-force exercises.
  • The last time the exercise was held was in 2009.
  • The drill demonstrates the United States’ and India’s efforts and commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific area.

Highlights from the 2023 edition

  • The exercise will be conducted in two phases, with the first focusing on the air transportation component, which will involve both countries’ cargo planes.
  • The IAF’s component will feature the Su-30MKI, Rafale, Tejas, and Jaguar fighter aircraft, while Japan will participate as an observer.
  • According to an IAF statement, the second phase of the exercise will include B-1B bombers from the US Air Force and F-15 fighter aircraft from the US Air Force.
  • The IAF’s aerial refuellers, Airborne Warning and Control System, and Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft will support the exercise.
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