The Indian Air Force and Armée de l'Air (French Air Force) are going to be participating in a bilateral air exercise Garuda VI at Mont de Marsan in France. The exercise, scheduled to take place from July to July 12, 2019, 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 and is expected to showcase fighter jets like Rafale, Mirage 2000, Sukhoi 30 from the two sides.
While the Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent comprises of 120 air-warriors and four Sukhoi 30 MKI along with an IL-78 flight refuelling aircraft, French Air Force units will comprise the likes of Rafale, Alpha Jet, Mirage 2000, C135, E3F, C130, and Casa.
Now, IAF’s official Twitter handle has shared a video showing the preparations for the exercise and showing behind the scenes action. The tweet says, “the flying Operations will commence from 01 July 2019. Team IAF is all set & geared up for undertaking operations from AF Base Mont-De-Marsan, France.Happy Landings to IAF & FAF Garuda contingent.”
#ExGaruda2019 : The flying Operations will commence from 01 July 2019.Team IAF is all set & geared up for undertaking operations from AF Base Mont-De-Marsan, France.Happy Landings to IAF & FAF Garuda contingent.@SpokespersonMoD @Armee_de_lair @DefenceMinIndia pic.twitter.com/wQGizGEkAs— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 30, 2019
Previously, IAF had 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.”
#ExGaruda2019 : #IAF will be participating in its biggest joint air exercise of 2019, with the French Air Force (FAF) at France from 01-14 July 19.The Garuda contingent will depart ex-India on 25 Jun 19.@SpokespersonMoD pic.twitter.com/fwb2kuR6Vr— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 25, 2019
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.
#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. pic.twitter.com/90ngSwSqdM— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 24, 2019
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.