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IAF to Participate in Biggest Indo-French Joint Air Exercise Garuda-VI - Watch Video

IAF to Participate in Biggest Indo-French Joint Air Exercise Garuda-VI - Watch Video

The IAF’s frontline fighter Sukhoi Su-30 MKI will take on the Rafale multirole jets of the French Air Force.

The Indian Air Force and Armée de l'Air (French Air Force) is set to lock horns in the bilateral air exercise Garuda VI, the biggest of its kind scheduled from 1st July 2019 to 14th July 2019. The exercise will see the most potent fighter aircraft of the two countries going head-to-head to validate the latest defence strategies and fine-tune their waging capabilities.

Taking on Twitter, IAF announced - “#Garuda-VI: Indian Air Force will be participating in its biggest joint air exercise of 2019, with the French Air Force (FAF) in France from 01-14 July 19. The IAF contingent will set course for the exercise tomorrow.”




The IAF’s frontline fighter Sukhoi Su-30 MKI will take on the Rafale multirole jets of the French Air Force. The exercise will also give a chance to the Air Force to assess the capabilities of their aircraft against the Rafale jets which will join the Indian forces in the next few months.

Reports suggest that the Indian Air Force will deploy 10 Su-30 MKIs, Ilyushin IL-76 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) plane and Il-78 aerial refuelling tanker during the two-week-long Garuda VI exercise. The exercise will take place in the presence of over 150 IAF officers and airmen.

Exactly 36 of the Rafale jets similar to the ones that will be used during Garuda, have been purchased by India and will arrive in 2019. The 36 aircraft will be a part of two IAF Squadron, the first of which is the Golden Arrows ’17 Squadron.




Reports suggest that the other squadron of the fighter aircraft will be based out of Hashimara in West Bengal to tackle the front facing China. Ahead of this, the 17 squadrons operated the MiG-21 and are ‘number-plated’ at the moment.

The first Rafale will be handed to the Indian Air Force in September 2019 after an intensive 1500 hours of testing to validate the India Specific Enhancements on it. Hence, the first batch will be ready to be inducted at Ambala around May 2020.