SUKHOI 30
The Indian Air Force pilots flew Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter craft at the combat exercises at Lincolnshire last month. In the picture above, Sukhoi Su-30SM Flanker-C fighters and Su-35S Super-Flanker fighters fly in formation over the Red Square during the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia.REUTERS/Host Photo Agency/RIA Novosti

Sources in the RAF are calling Indian claims of superiority in the air "comical" while ridiculing reports that the Indian pilots flying Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft defeated the RAF Typhoon aircraft not only in one-on-one combat, but also when pitted against two Typhoons.

The two-week international air combat exercises were held last month at Lincolnshire.

IAF pilots flying Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters scored a resounding 12-0 in combat against RAF Typhoon jets in the close range dogfighting operations, and also held an edge over the Typhoons in the long-range exercises though not as successful, claimed media reports.

The Sukhois's dexterity and tracking system that avoid detection helped the Indian pilots in close-combat manoeuvring, they said.

A RAF source told The Independent that the claims cited in Indian media were clearly designed for the "domestic audience".

Meanwhile a spokesperson for the RAF said: "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 [forces] learnt a great deal from the exercise and the RAF look forward to the next opportunity to train alongside the IAF."

Tony Osborne, the London bureau chief of Aviation Week, suggested the scores be viewed through the haze of pilot bravado and national pride, but acknowledged the Su-30MKI in the right hands "would present a potent challenge".

In an interview with Indian television, group Captain Ashu Srivastav praised his pilots as exceptional but refused to quantify the results.

The 10-day drill which commenced on July 21 was the fourth edition of the Indo-UK bilateral exercise called "Indradhanush".

The IAF took four of its fleet of Russian-designed SU-30MKI Flanker fighter aircraft to face off against the RAF's Typhoon FGR4 fighter.