Indian Air Force(IAF) and French Air and Space Force will conduct a bilateral Air exercise Ex Desert Knight-21 at Jodhpur Air Force Station between January 20 and 24.
About 175 airforce personnel from the French side will participate with Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport, A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft. Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force will participate in the exercise with Mirage 2000, Su-30 MKI, Rafale, IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft, AWACS and AEW&C aircraft.
In a tweet, it posted how it is preparing for the visit. It wrote Indian Air Force preparing to #Bienvenue @Armee_de_lair as the IAF and the French Air and Space Force come together for a bilateral Air Exercise, #DesertKnight21, at Air Force Station Jodhpur from 20 to 24 Jan 21.
Before this, the two countries have held six Air Exercises named ‘Garuda’, the last one happened at Mont-de-Marsan Air Force Base in France. The exercise marks an important milestone in the series of engagements between the two Air forces.
As measures to further the existing cooperation, the two forces have been gainfully utilising available opportunities to conduct ‘hop-exercises’. The French Air and Space Force deployment while ferrying to Australia for Ex Pitchblack in 2018 was hosted by IAF at Air Force Stations Agra and Gwalior for exercise with fighters and MRTT aircraft. Presently, the French detachment for Ex Desert Knight-21 is deployed in Asia as part of their ‘Skyros Deployment’ and will ferry in forces to Air Force Station Jodhpur.
The exercise is unique as it includes fielding of Rafale aircraft by both sides and is indicative of the growing interaction between the two premiers Air Forces. As the two detachments commence their air exchange from 20 Jan onwards, they will put into practice operational experience gained across terrains and spectrums and endeavour to exchange ideas and best practices to enhance interoperability.