July 14, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Indian Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi 30 pilots will finally get an opportunity to put their combat skills to test against the F-16 jet fighter. No, the IAF does not plan to cross the border and take on the F-16s of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
Instead in October, the IAF fighter aircraft will participate in a joint exercise at Gwalior with the F-16s of the Singapore
The IAF has been desperate to size up the F-16s ever since Pakistan
acquired them from the US in the mid-1980s. IAF officers were, in fact, quite keen that US field the F-16 Falcons during the 'Cope India-04' joint Indo-US exercise held in Gwalior in February. But, in the end, the USAF took part with F-15C Eagles, disappointing many officers.