Jodhpur: The Air Forces of India and France will be holding comprehensive air exercises for five days in Jodhpur. The importance of these exercises increases further as the French-made Rafale fighter jets, recently commissioned in the Indian Air Force (IAF), will also participate in the activities. The tension between India and China continues, and the defence forces are prepared for any eventuality. These air exercises become extremely important against this background.
The defence cooperation between India and France is strengthening further over the last few years. Every year, India and France hold Garuda joint war exercises. But an official informed that these exercises to be held in Jodhpur would be independent of Garuda. The official underlined that these exercises indicate that the defence ties between India and France have become extremely strong.
The war exercises have been named Ex-Desert Night-21, and along with the eight Rafale fighter jets from the IAF fleet, Sukhoi-20 MKI fighter jets also will be participating in the exercises. The Rafale squadron from the French Air Force also will be participating in the exercises. Transport and tanker aircraft from both the air forces will also be participating in the activities. The French aircraft are deployed in Asia under the Skyros Development. These French aircraft will be participating in the exercises. The official informed that before reaching their Asian base for deployment, the aircraft would participate in the activities.
India has purchased 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. Out of these, nine fighter jets have been delivered to India. India needs more fighter jets, and France is keen on supplying these additional fighter jets to India. France had expressed interest in joining the QUAD alliance formed by India, the United States, Japan and Australia. It was also reported that moves have started to include France in the coalition. It is said that QUAD, which is formed to stop the Chinese influence and bullying, will be transformed into QUAD Plus. Even against this background, the increasing Indo-French defence cooperation becomes extremely important.