India's defence ministry has confirmed that the six Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighters that will participate in "Red Flag Nellis" manoeuvres at Nellis AFB, Nevada in August 2008 will operate without using their NIIP Bars radars.

"The radar frequencies are top secret, as they can be used to block vital functions of the fighter," says the Indian air force, which adds: "While we have a good equation with the USA, we have to be careful about the future." US interest in the system stems from China's large inventory of Russian-made Su-30s, and Moscow has previously stated that the MKI's radar frequencies should not be revealed.

© Baron Inchcape/AirSpace

India's Red Flag commitment builds on its air force's mid-2007 deployment of six Su-30MKIs to the UK for a bilateral exercise with Royal Air Force types including the Eurofighter Typhoon and Panavia Tornado F3. The Indian service is also expected to send an Ilyushin Il-76 tanker and two Il-76 transports to accompany its fighters to the USA.