NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force contingent with its aircraft left for France on Tuesday to participate in bilateral air exercise between Indian and French Air Force named Exercise ‘Garuda-VI’.
Air Force said, “The Indian Air Force Su-30 MKI will be operating in a simulated operational war fighting scenario along with French Air Forces multirole Rafale aircraft.”
India is purchasing 36 Rafale Air Combat multi role fighters from France. About a dozen Rafale fighter jets will be part of the French contingent for Exercise Varuna, the naval exercise between India and France, which is currently underway off the coast of Goa.
This is the sixth edition of the Exercise Garuda which will take place from 01-12 Jul 19 at French Air Force Base, Mont-de-Marsan. The previous exercise, ‘Garuda V’ was held in India at Air Force Station Jodhpur in Jun 2014.
Indian Air Force contingent comprises of 120 air-warriors and four Su-30 MKI fighters along with an IL-78 Flight Refueling aircraft, which shall participate during the exercise. C-17 strategic lift aircraft will provide the logistic support to the contingent during the induction and de-induction phase. The team departed from Air Force Station Bareily and Agra on 25 Jun 19.
This is one of the biggest air exercises that is being planned between the two Air Forces. This will enhance understanding of interoperability during mutual operations between the two Air Forces and provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices, said the Air Force.
Air force added that participation of IAF in the exercise will also promote professional interaction, exchange experiences and operational knowledge besides strengthening bilateral relations with the French Air Force. It will also provide a good opportunity to the air warriors to operate in an international environment.