Indian Air Force (IAF) chief RKS Bhadauria met his UAE counterpart Ibrahim Nasser M Al Alawi and held wide-ranging talks to identify avenues and measures for further strengthening the robust relationship between the two forces, according to an official statement on Monday. Air Chief Marshal Bhadauri's visit to the UAE comes nearly eight months after Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane travelled to that country.
In December last year, Gen Naravane paid a six-day visit to the UAE and Saudi Arabia in a first-ever trip by a head of the Indian Army to the two important Gulf countries. "Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), called on Major General Ibrahim Nasser M Al Alawi, Commander, UAE Air Force and Air Defence (UAE AF & AD), on August 1, 2021," the IAF tweeted.
"They noted the rapid progress made in bilateral engagements and had wide-ranging talks to identify avenues and measures for further strengthening the robust relationship between the two Air Forces. CAS also visited major UAE AF&AD units during the two-day goodwill visit," it added. The IAF had said on Saturday that it and the UAE's Air Force have had significant professional interactions in the past few years and this visit by the IAF chief will further strengthen the defence cooperation and air force-level exchanges, as part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides.
In the last few years, India's ties with the UAE have witnessed a major upswing. The UAE Air Force had provided mid-air refuelling to a number of Rafale fighter jets on their journey from France to India. India is procuring 36 Rafale jets from France out of which 24 have already been delivered.