Marseille: Indian fighter jet SU-30MKIs have excelled in high value air borne asset protection and busting missions in the Exercise Garuda 2010 being held at the Istres Air Base in Marseille, France.
The exercise between the air forces of India, France and Singapore, which concludes on Friday, entered its final phase on Wednesday.
Over 60 missions have been successfully flown till now.
SU-30MKI along with the Mirage-2000-5, Rafale and the F-16 were also engaged in various air defence maneuvers such as implementation of "no fly zones" and large force engagements during day and night.
A unique feature to which the SU-30s were subjected was the "swing roles", where the same aircraft is simultaneously put to offensive as well as defensive roles.
The IL-78 refuellers of the IAF and the KC-135 refuellers of the French Air Force also participated in various missions carrying out cross refueling, where refuelling denials were practised to make it more difficult.
Meanwhile, the IAF Special Forces team "Gurada" also carried out two jumps each by day and night.
"Our participation in the exercise has reinforced the manner in which we conduct our operations. It has also helped us refine our doctrine," said Air Marshal K K Nowhar, who visited the contingent involved in the exercise.
"In future, there is a slim chance that a country would operate in isolation especially in a co-operative defence scenario. Thus knowing each others best practices in terms of tactics, techniques and procedures is the main objective of this exercise, which is also a part of the on-going Indo-French Defence Cooperation," he added.
The Indian Air Attache in France, Air Commodore SK Ghotia, said: "This has been the widest scope ever accomplished between three nations. The exercise brought together the best fighting machines of the world such as the Sukhois, F16s, Rafale and Mirage-2000."
"Our pilots flew in these cockpits and has gained tremendous learning experience. The engineers, technicians and all other members of the team have also benefitted substantially from the exercise," he added.