The Indian Air Force (IAF) will conduct a joint air combat exercise with the French Air Force in June 2010 to enhance interoperability between the nations aircrews.

During the Garuda-IV exercise, the IAF will deploy six Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, two IL-76 heavy-lift aircraft and a IL-78 mid-air refueller aircraft, according to the Times of India.

Scheduled to be held between 14 and 25 June 2010 at Istres Air Base in France, Garuda-IV will help pilots to observe each other’s operational, technical and administrative practices.

The exercise is important in the context of the two nations Rs100bn ($2.1bn) agreement to upgrade the IAF’s 56 Mirage-2000 fighter jets.