Curtain Down on Cope India 2006

US Air Force and Indian Air Force wrap up their major air-combat exercise this week, having been going at it more or less non-stop since Nov. 7. Cope India has featured USAF F-16s against a variety of IAF hardware, including the latest Su-30MKI. Don’t expect, however, to hear a great deal about which side “won” or “lost” any particular air encounter. If recent press statements are a guide (see, for example, the Cope India story in the Nov. 17 issue of Pacific Stars & Stripes), USAF officers intend to downplay this angle. Claims of Indian victories in the last Cope India ruffled some feathers in the US Air Force.