As you already know time to time Indian armed force participate in many military, Naval and Air Exercise with other countries. In term of that recently the Indian Air Force (IAF) done its biggest joint air exercises of the year 2019, with the French Air Force. Sixth edition of the Garuda air exercises jointly carried out by India and France Air Force as part of the growing strategic cooperation between the two countries. Garuda VI Exercise offer the IAF an opportunity to gain experience and information on operating its existing fleet of Sukhoi Su-30 fighters with the Dassault Rafale fighters.
In Garuda VI Exercise IAF contingent included 10 Sukhoi Su-30 fighters, an Ilyushin IL-78 aerial refuelling tanker, an Ilyushin IL-76 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and 200 IAF officers. The Garuda VI exercises take place for two weeks beginning in the first week of July (1-14 July 2019).
A key component of the Garuda VI exercises for the IAF are likely to be the opportunity to gather operational information on the Dassault Rafale omnirole fighters, which India has ordered 36. French Air Force Rafales will be part of the exercises, and are likely to share airspace with the IAF’s Su-30s. Garuda VI was conducted at an Istres Air Base in France.
Here are the some facts about Garuda Exercise of Indian Air Force.
- The Strategic Partnership between France and India was signed in January 1998 by President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, and then launched during Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s visit to Paris in September 1998. Strategic cooperation between France and India dates back to 1951, with the first agreement between the Indian and French Atomic Energy Commissions, and, ever since, has constantly developed and expanded in scope.
- Garuda is the name of the series of exercises jointly carried out by the air forces of India and Frances, to go with the army and navy exercises, which are called Shakti and Varuna respectively. India and France also agreed in October 2018 that they would carry out tri-services exercises, which would involve all three wings of their armed forces.
- The first edition of Garuda Exercise took place in 2003 at the Gwalior Air Force Station followed by more editions that are alternately hosted by India and France
- Garuda exercises are conducted alternately in France and India since 2003:
Garuda I: February 2003, Gwalior, India, in the presence of the French Chief of Staff. It was the first fighter-to-fighter exercise between the Indian Air Force and a foreign Air Force.
Garuda II: June 2005, Istres Air Force Base, France. It was the first exercise of the Indian Air Force in Europe
Garuda III: February 2007, Kalaikunda Air Force Station, India
Garuda IV : June 2010, Istres Air Force Base, France. First cross-refuelling on each other’s tankers. First edition of the exercise in trilateral format, with Singapore.
- The ExGaruda were held in France in 2005 and 2010. Both times they were held at the Istres Air Base on the southern coast of France, which also serves as a testing facility for Dassault Aviation and Snecma, the manufacturer and engine maker of the Rafale respectively.
- In 2010 exercise during 14-25 June at Istres Air Base, France, the IAF will deploy its six Sukhoi-30 MKIs for the first time. Other IAF aircraft joining the exercise include three Ilushin-78 flight refueller aircraft, an Ilushin–76 heavy-lift transport aircraft and 230 air warriors.