For the first time ever, Ex Cope India-2018 – a bilateral joint exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the US Air Force (USAF) – will be held at two Air Force bases. This will be the fourth edition of the exercise.

Conducted in India, the exercise is being planned at Kalaikunda and Panagarh. The Air Force bases are located in West Bengal.

The 12-day joint exercise will begin from 3 December and continue till 14 December.

A defence ministry statement revealed that the USAF is participating with 12 F15 C/D fighter jets and three C-130 Hercules strategic transport aircraft.

The F15 Eagle is a frontline twin-engine fighter aircraft operated by the US, the Israeli, the Japanese and the Saudi Arabian air forces. The fighter is counted among the most successful fighter jets in history with no losses in aerial combat.

IAF is participating with the Sukhoi Su-30 MKI, SEPECAT Jaguar, Dassault Mirage 2000, C-130J Super Hercules and AWACS aircraft.

“The aim of exercise is to provide operational exposure and undertake mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing operational capability,” the Ministry said in its statement.