Indo-French aerial exercise begins in France

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Old 14-Jun-2010
Indo-French aerial exercise begins in France

The fourth exercise of the Indo-French 'Garuda' series aerial wargames commenced today at the Istres Air Base in France, with the two countries deploying their frontline fighter aircraft.

During the exercise, air forces of India and France would engage in various missions ranging from close combat, engagement of large forces and protection and engagement of high-value aerial assets, IAF officials said here.

Commenting on the exercise, IAF contingent commander Group Captain J Mishra said, "Focus of the exercise is learning from each other's best practices. Air Defence operations in Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) and non-AWACS environment would be central to our various manoeuvres.

"The intensity of the exercise would be gradually increased throughout its duration so that we learn and absorb maximum from the exercise," he added.

India is participating in the exercise with six Su-30 MKI fighter jets, three IL-78 mid-air refuellers and one IL-76 heavy-lift transport aircraft whereas France has fielded its Rafale and Mirage-2000 fighters along with its own refueling planes.

For the first time, the Singaporean Air Force is also participating in the exercise with its Block-52 F-16 fighters.

During the exercise, IAF's special forces will carry out jumps along with the French special forces and the IL-76 will be used in static line drops with the French special forces.

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