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IAF to participate in Exercise Garuda in France

IAF is sending six of its front line Sukhoi fighter jets to an Indo-French joint air force exercise which will be held in France this month after a gap of four years.



New Delhi/Bareilly: IAF is sending six of its
front line Sukhoi fighter jets to an Indo-French joint air
force exercise which will be held in France this month after a
gap of four years.

Exercise Garuda, as the series is codenamed, would be
held at the Istres air base in France from June 14 to 25 and
this will be the first time Su-30MKI fighter jets of the IAF
would participate in the exercise in that country, a defence
PRO said here.

An IAF contingent of 230 air warriors was flagged off for
the event by Central Air Command Senior Air and Staff Officer
Air Marshal S Varthaman at Bareilly air base today.

Apart from the Sukhois, the IAF would take three of its
IL-78 air refuelers and an IL-76 heavy lift transport aircraft
for the exercise being held in France after the last exercise
there in 2006.

During the exercise, for the first time the two air
forces will be joined by the Singapore Air Force with its
American-origin Block 52 F-16s, he said.

IAF`s Garuda Special Forces will also be taking part in
the Indo-French Garuda series air-to-air exercises in France.

"Joint exercises of this nature enhance mutual
operational understanding and refines the procedural aspects
and provides for tremendous learning experience for all the
participating air forces," an official said.

The French Air Force, during the exercise, would field
its Mirage 2000 and Rafael fighters jets, which is a contender
in the IAF`s 126 medium multi role combat aircraft tenders
worth USD 11 billion, for the exercise.

Group Captain J Mishra would be the team leader under
whose supervision the IAF contingent would perform in France.

Capt NN Sinha would be the exercise director, who
would be planning, coordinating and executing different
aspects of the flying and ground manoeuvres during the
exercise.

In the earlier Exercise Garuda, IAF had participated with
its Su-30 KAs.

The Garuda series of exercises between India and France
started in 2003 aiming to enhance military ties between the
two countries and allow their air forces to understand each
other`s capabilities.

PTI

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