Garuda: India, France to hold air exercise in July 2019Date: 10 June 2019 Tags: Military Exercises
Indian and French air forces will conduct two-week-long mega air exercise beginning July 1, 2019 in France to boost military-to-military ties between the two countries. It will be one of the largest air exercises between the two strategic partners (countries).
Note: The Garuda 2019 air exercise will take place nearly two months after Indian and French navies carried out mega naval warfare exercise in Arabian Sea as well as in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.
- Indian Air Force (IAF) will be represented by fleet of Sukhoi 30 fighter jets. Besides, IAG will also large number of other assets including mid-air refueller. IAF’s Sukhoi 30 fighter jets will engage in dogfights with France’s Rafale multirole aircraft in simulated scenarios. The exercise will also provide opportunity to sizeable number of IAF pilots to have close look at Rafale jets being operated by French Air Force.
- Rafale Deal: India had signed government-to-government (G2G) deal with France in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets at cost of about the Rs 58,000-crore. The first Rafale jet is scheduled to be delivered in September 2019.
The defence and security cooperation between India and France is on upswing in the last few years. In 2018, both countries inked strategic pact providing for the use of each others’ military facilities including opening naval bases to warships. India and France also are carrying out discussions on possibility of launching a tri-services military exercise between the armed forces of the two nations. The first edition of Garuda air exercise between both countries was held in February 2003 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.