The seventh edition of the bilateral air exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the French Air and Space Force (FASF), ‘Exercise Garuda-VII’ concluded at Air Force Station, Jodhpur on Saturday.
The FASF participated in the exercise with Rafale fighter aircraft and A-330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, while the IAF contingent comprised Su-30 MKI, Rafale, LCA ‘Tejas’ and Jaguar fighter aircraft, read the Ministry of Defence press release.
This fighter element was complemented by the IAF’s Flight Refuelling Aircraft, AWACS and AEW&C, as well as Mi-17 helicopters and the newly inducted LCH ‘Prachanda,’ added the release. Exercise Garuda-VII provided the two Air Forces with the opportunity for professional interaction and sharing of operational knowledge and experience.
With meticulous planning and execution of various phases of the exercise, personnel of the IAF and the FASF were exposed to realistic air combat simulations and the associated Combat Support Operations.
This enabled the participating contingents to engage in wide-ranging interactions, providing valuable insight into each other’s best practices, added the release.
The exercise also provided a platform for cultural exchange between the Air Force personnel of both countries.
Showcasing defence ties between both nations, IAF Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on November 8 flew in a Rafale fighter jet, while French Air and Space Force Chief General Stephane Mille flew in an Indian Russian-origin Su-30 MKI fighter jet.
In a tweet, IAF said, “Chiefs from both the #IAF & @Armee_de_lair took to the skies in one of the multi-aircraft missions flown during #ExerciseGaruda. The unique flight provided the perfect overview of the Exercise to both the Commanders.”
Speaking about the ‘Garuda VII’ exercise, IAF Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on November 8 said, “Garuda is one exercise that gives us this opportunity which exposes our pilots and crew to the best packages of the French Air & Space Force (FASF) and vice versa.”
Meanwhile, French Air & Space Force chief General Stephane Mille said, “We are here to fly together with Indian aircrew. Sometimes, with a simple act, we can do a lot. Doing this exercise, we are able to understand each other during the flight. It’s very important to be able to fly & operate together.”