In Historic First, USAF Deploys B-1s to India for Train

A pair of B-1B Lancers from Ellsworth Air Pressure Base, S.D., will take part in a joint train with the Indian Air Pressure this week—the primary time the BONE has participated in an train there. 

F-15E fighters, C-130J cargo planes, and C-17 transport plane are also participating in Cope India 2023, Pacific Air Forces instructed Air & Area Forces Journal. Indian information shops first reported the B-1s’ participation, citing PACAF commander Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach. 

The go to is the second journey to India in three months—in February, Lancers performed flyovers at the biennial Aero India air present. B-1s additionally participated in Aero India 21, the primary time a Lancer had ever landed in India. 

The Cope India joint train between the USAF and IAF started in 2004 and has subsequently been held in 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2018. Over time, the U.S. Air Pressure has despatched F-15s, F-16s, C-130Hs, C-130Js, and C-17s to the train. 

The primary section of the 2023 version started April 10, in accordance with a launch from the Indian Defence Ministry, with a give attention to air mobility. C-17s from the fifteenth Wing at Joint Base Hickam-Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and C-130Js from the 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, participated. 

The second section, which kicked off April 13, will embrace F-15Es from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Pressure Base, N.C., along with the B-1s. The Indian Air Pressure will fly Su-30 MKI, Rafale, Tejas and Jaguar fighter plane. 

The train is slated to conclude April 24. The USAF has but to launch any imagery from Cope India 23. 

The Biden administration has sought to foster ties with India not too long ago, each as a part of its broader efforts to bolster alliances and partnerships within the Indo-Pacific towards the affect of China, and in an try and additional alienate Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Specifically, the U.S. Air Pressure introduced a substantial presence to Aero India 23, together with F-35 fighters, because the Indian Air Pressure mulls upgrades. 

B-1s have additionally grow to be an everyday sight within the area as of late, due to Bomber Process Pressure rotations. Lancers have flown 4 instances with South Korean fighters this yr, in addition to workouts with the Japanese Air Self-Protection Pressure. 

Two U.S. Air Pressure B-1B Lancers, assigned to the thirty fourth Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, fly over Aero India 23 at Air Pressure Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru, India, Feb. 14, 2023. The weeklong biennial exhibition is Asia’s largest aviation occasion and hosts authorities delegations and company executives from 26 nations. (U.S. Air Pressure photograph by Grasp Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger)