The Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided not to deploy its warplanes in the multilateral air exercise to be held in Britain next month in view of the situation arising out of the crisis in Ukraine. The exercise is to be held in Waddington, UK from March 6 to 27. India had confirmed its participation in the exercise three days back.
The Indian Air Force tweeted, "Because of the recent developments, the Indian Air Force has decided not to deploy its aircraft for the Cobra Warrior Exercise 2022 in the UK." A few days before this announcement, the Indian Air Force had said that it would send five warplanes for the exercise.
The Indian Air Force has not stated why it is withdrawing from the exercise, but it is widely assumed that the move was made in response to Russia's military strike on Ukraine. A few hours before this decision of the Air Force, India also did not participate in the vote on the UN Security Council resolution on the Russian military offensive against Ukraine.
Official sources said that by not voting on the resolution condemning Russia in the UN Security Council on the Ukraine crisis, India has kept open the option of finding a middle ground and reaching out to all concerned to promote dialogue and diplomacy. The Army on Wednesday announced that it will participate in the 'Cobra Warrior' with a fleet of five Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
It had said that the objective of exercise 'Cobra Warrior 22' is to provide operational capability and share best practices among the participating air forces. It said the exercise would be a platform for the indigenously built Tejas aircraft to showcase its manoeuvrability and operational capability.