Indian media organisations are carrying reports of the Indian Air Force (IAF) "dominating" the Royal Air Force during a recent bilateral air combat exercise.
A resounding score of "12-0" was conceded to the IAF Su-30's during the initial dogfighting stages of Within Visual Range (WVR) encounters.
Sources from the RAF state, however, that Indian planes were being 'bedded in' to new terrain and effectively shown the ropes. The RAF were "introducing them to the airspace", putting the Typhoons up against the Sukhois in something more akin to a pigeon-shooting exercise, rather than a combat exercise, so the Indian pilots could get their bearings.
Once the IAF were comfortable flying in foreign air space the Large Force Exercises (LFEs) began and subsequently the RAF Typhoons proved more than a match for the Indian SU-30's.
Speaking to Forces TV an RAF spokesman offered a polite rebuttal to the claims in the Indian press, saying:
"Our analysis does not match what has been reported, RAF pilots and the Typhoon performed well throughout the exercise, with and against the Indian Air Force."
"Both nations learnt a great deal from the exercise and the RAF look forward to the next opportunity to train alongside the IAF."
The Large Force Engagements saw 4 v 4 engagements at beyond visual range and graduated to a massive 8 v 8 engagement featuring 16 aircraft in the skies near Coningsby.
Asked about the performance of IAF pilots in these Large Force Engagements, Group Captain Srivastav told NDTV his pilots performed "fairly well" though "quantifying [the results] is difficult".