The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) indigenously developed Tejas Mk-1 light fighter is marking its maiden international air exercise participation in the United Arab Emirates as part of Exercise Desert Flag VIII. 

Five IAF Tejas fighters are attending the exercises supported by two Boeing C-17 Globemaster IIIs. The IAF presently operates two squadrons of the Tejas light fighter and has an additional 83 Tejas Mk-1As on order, with deliveries to begin next year. 

The air forces participating in the multilateral air exercises are from the UAE, France, Kuwait, Australia, UK, Bahrain, Morocco, Spain, Republic of Korea, and USA. Exercise Desert Flag VIII concludes on 17 March.

The IAF is also sending a contingent of five Mirage 2000 fighters, two C-17 Globemaster III and an IL-78 mid-air refuellers to take part in Exercise Cobra Warrior in the United Kingdom.

Other participating air forces include the Finland, Sweden, South Africa and Singapore. The exercise will run from 6 to 24 March.