At a time when India is locked in a bitter standoff with China at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, France and India will engage in the Skyros joint air exercise that will be held from January 19-25 at Rajasthan’s Jodhpur. The exercise will see India’s newly acquired Rafale fighter jets come to action.
Rafale will return to Jodhpur sky after six years. The last time Rafale roared the skies of Jodhpur was in 2014 June. Unlike the previous time, Skyros will see both India and France undertaking complex maneuvers.
Skyros different from Garuda
In this exercise, along with Rafale of the French Air Force, the Rafale jets procured by India and Sukhoi fighters will also be seen demonstrating their skills in the sky.
The Skyros India-French Exercise will be different from the routine Garuda series military exercise that the two close military partners have been conducting for more than a decade now. The Skyros air exercise will see more complex maneuvers being carried out by fighter jets of both sides. Rafale fighters from IAF Ambala based Golden Arrow Squadron will participate in this exercise.
Recall of 2014 air exercise at Jodhpur
In 2014, Rafale showed its strength in Jodhpur. At that time, there was an exciting fight between Rafale and Sukhoi. During the exercise, French Air Chief Dennis Mercier flew from Sukhoi, while the then Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha flew Rafale. After this, the Rafale deal progressed rapidly. The foundation of this deal was truly laid after examining and testing Rafale’s ability during the Jodhpur exercise.
Now during the Skyros exercise at Jodhpur, Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters will be fielded by the IAF against French Air Force’s own Rafale combat jets.
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