India-France Garuda VI Exercise: Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi 30 MKI air superiority fighters are engaged in intense mock dog fights with French Air Force’s Rafale fighter jets over French skies. IAF is conducting two week long joint exercise Garuda with its French counterpart. India has sent 4 Sukhoi 30 MKIs, two C-17 heavy lifter transport planes and one IL-78 refueler tanker to participate in the 6th edition of Garuda exercise. The exercise is taking place Mont-de-Marsan airbase in France between July 1 to July 12.
India has over 240 Sukhoi 30 MKI fighters and it is acquiring 36 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation of France in a government to government deal.
Objective of Garuda Military Exercise
“It’s a good opportunity for both French and Indian Air Force to test the capabilities of Rafale fighter jets produced by France as one of the design objective of Rafale was to beat Russian Sukhoi 27 series fighters.”
This is one of the biggest air exercises between the two Air Forces. 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.
“This will enhance understanding of interoperability during mutual operations between the two Air Forces and provide an opportunity to learn from each others best practices, said the IAF.
Garuda Exercise to give IAF international exposure
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,” said Indian Air Force.
Indian Air Force contingent comprises of 120 air-warriors and four Su-30 MKI 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 fromAir Force Station Bareily and Agra on 25 Jun 19. The last exercise, ‘Garuda V’ was held at Air Force Station Jodhpur in Jun 2014.