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Indo-French joint air exercise "Garuda-III" begins in India

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Feb 13, IRNA
India-France-Joint air exercise
A bilateral exercise called Garuda-III between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the French Air Force (FAF) began Monday in Kalaikunda air base in West Bengal state. The joint exercise runs until Feb 23.

In Garuda III, the IAF is being represented by its major fleets, namely, the Su-30 MKI, Mirage-2000 and MIG-27. The FAF will field the Mirage 2000-5, the M-2000 D and the E-3F AWACS.

The two-week air exercise is designed to refine the pilot and team skills of both countries and will witness the IAF and FAF engaged in mock air battles in a simulated battlefield environment of the future, an official released said here.

The exercise, while allowing pilots of the IAF an opportunity to refine their aerial fighting skills, will signal the growing commitment of the Indian armed forces to constructively engage the international community in confidence building.

This is the third such exercise between the two countries and the first involving French AWACS being staged in India.

The IAF had also participated in a similar exercise at Istres air base in France in July 2005.

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