India and France conduct mega air exercise in Jodhpur

Indian and French air forces are undertaking an 18-day military exercise in Jodhpur involving a significant number of fighter jets such as Rafale, Tejas, Jaguar and Sukhoi-30 to further boost operational cooperation, officials said on Friday.

The “Garuda VII” exercise began on October 26 and will end on November 12.

The Air and Space Force (FASF) took part in the exercise with four Rafale combat aircraft, an A-330 multi-role tanker transport aircraft (MRTT) and a contingent of 220 personnel, officials said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed Sukhoi-30 MKI jets, Rafales, Tejas light fighter jets, Jaguar jets, Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) and Mi-17 helicopters, they stated.

The IAF contingent will also include combat assets such as aerial refueling aircraft, AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) and AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) aircraft.

“This joint exercise will provide a platform for both countries to improve operational capability and interoperability, while sharing best practices,” the IAF said in a statement.

This is the seventh edition of the bilateral exercise. The first, third and fifth editions were conducted in India in 2003, 2006 and 2014 at the air force stations of Gwalior, Kalaikunda and Jodhpur, respectively.

The second, fourth and sixth editions took place in France in 2005, 2010 and 2019.

“The participation of the IAF and the FASF in this exercise will promote professional interaction, the exchange of experiences and the improvement of operational knowledge, in addition to strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries,” the official said. ‘IAF.

Military cooperation between India and France has seen a major expansion in recent years.

In August, a contingent of the French Air and Space Force, including three Rafale aircraft, made a strategically crucial stopover at the IAF’s Sulur base in Tamil Nadu as part of a mega military operation he conducted in the Pacific Ocean.

In March, the Indian and French navies conducted a five-day mega wargame in the Arabian Sea, involving frontline ships, submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, fighter jets and helicopters.

The Indian and French navies in April last year also conducted a mega wargame in the Arabian Sea.

The French Navy deployed its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its entire carrier battle group in this exercise, reflecting the growing congruence of naval ties.

Meanwhile, the Indian Navy is hosting the 29th Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) from October 26-30 in Visakhapatnam.

Two Singapore Navy ships, RSS Stalwart (a Formidable-class frigate) and RSS Vigilance (a Victory-class corvette) arrived in Visakhapatnam on October 25 to participate in the exercise

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