The Indian and French Air Forces are conducting the fifth Indo-French bilateral air exercise, code-named Ex Garuda V, at Jodhpur Air Base in Rajasthan, India.
The fortnight long exercise aims to enable the two air forces to engage in operations based on their operational philosophy and methodology of operations by practicing various challenging air situation scenarios, in order to validate their capabilities and help enhance operational cooperation.
During the exercise, the participants are expected to perform multiple missions, including close combat engagement of large forces, slow mover safety, and protection and engagement of high-value aerial assets at the strategic airbase located near the Indo-Pak border, as reported earlier by Press Trust of India.
The wargame will primarily focus on air to air refuelling, basic and advanced fighter interceptions, protection of high-value aerial targets and group combat manoeuvring, according to the officials.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is represented by the frontline fighter aircraft, including Su-30, Mig-27 (UPG), Mig-21 Bison, and force multipliers such as the airborne warning and control system (AWACS) and IL-78flight refueller aircraft, while the French Air Force has deployed Rafale fighter aircraft along with their KC 135 refueller for the exercise, which scheduled to conclude on 12 June.
The last iteration of the exercise, Garuda IV, was conducted at the Istres Air Base in France, from 14 to 25 June 2010, and was also joined by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) along with their F-16 Fighting Falcon and KC-135 aircraft.
Image: Indian Air Force has deployed its Su-30 fighter aircraft for Exercise Garuda V. Photo: courtesy of 1st Lt. George Tobias.