- The Indian Air Force contingent with its aircraft has left for France to participate in bilateral air exercise between Indian and French Air Force named Exercise ‘Garuda-VI’.
- This is the sixth edition of Exercise Garuda and is being planned at Mont-de-Marsan,French Air Force Base.The last exercise,‘Garuda V’ was held at Air Force Station Jodhpur in June 2014.
- This exercise will provide an opportunity for Sukhoi 30 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force(IAF) to engage in dogfights with France’s Rafale multirole aircraft in simulated scenarios.
- 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.
- This will also allow IAF pilots to have a closer look at the Rafale jets being operated by the French Air Force.India had signed a deal with France in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets.The first Rafale jet is scheduled to be delivered in September,2019.
- India and France defence and security cooperation has been on an upswing in the last few years.In 2018,two countries had inked a strategic pact providing for the use of each others military facility including opening naval bases to warships.
- India and France have been also carrying out discussions on the possibility of launching a tri-services military exercise between the armed forces of the two nations.
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