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6 IAF Jaguars to take part in 'Cope Thunder 2004'

Source: PTI
June 15, 2004 20:17 IST
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Six Indian Air Force Jaguar deep-penetration strike aircraft will fly to the United States to take part in multi-national exercises in Alaska later this month.

The Jaguars, taking part in exercise 'Cope Thunder 2004', will cross the Atlantic helped by mid-air refuelling by the IAF's just acquired IL-78 giant tankers.
The aircraft will take off from Jamnagar in Gujarat on June 23 and make it to Alaska via brief halts in Qatar, Egypt, Portugal, New Foundland and Canada in 180 hours.

Two IL-76 transport aircraft carrying ground crew and spares would also form the IAF team for the multi-national exercises, IAF sources said.

The six Jaguars were part of the fleet which had recently been grounded by the IAF and were only cleared after undergoing technical checkups by a team of experts from the British Aerospace.

IAF's new air-to-air refuellers, IL-78, would be taking part in the exercises outside India for the first time. India has already received four of the six refuellers from Uzbekistan and these tankers till date have had 650 hours and close to 1,000 engagements with fighter aircraft, including Jaguars, Mirage 2000 and SU-30MKI.

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