IAF pulls out of multinational air exercise in UK

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will not take part in a multi-national air exercise, Cobra Warrior 22, planned at Waddington in the UK from March 6 to 27 because of events related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, officials familiar with the matter said on Saturday. Some media reports said the UK has cancelled the exercise.

IAF announced on Twitter that it will not take part in the drills “in light of recent events”. However, the tweet was deleted later.

Five Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) were to take part in the exercise, with IAF’s C-17 heavy-lifters providing transport support for induction and de-induction. The LCA has never taken part in a combat exercise on foreign soil.

The decision to pull out of the exercise came amid a deepening crisis in Ukraine with Russian troops advancing on Kyiv and other key cities.

It also came hours after India abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine.

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