Indo-French Air Force Exercise GARUDA 3, Kalaikunda, 12 to 23 February 2007
From 12 to 23 February 2007, the French and Indian Air Forces will carry out the third edition of the GARUDA series of air force exercises. Organized for the second time in India, this year exercise is taking place at Kalaikunda Air Force Station. The French Air Force will participate with one Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, four Mirage 2000-D Air-to-Ground fighters and four Mirage 2000-5 Air-Defence fighters.
Air Marshal Patrick de ROUSIERS, Chief of the French Air Defence and Air Operations Command will visit India on this occasion, and call on Deputy Air Chief of the Indian Air Force in Delhi before flying to Kalaikunda where he will meet Air Marshal BARBORA, Senior Air Staff Officer, Eastern Air Command, and the Chief of Air Staff designate.
The exercise aims at training the pilots and the crews of various Indian and French fighters on air to ground combat and air superiority operations under the control of the AWACS aircraft.
This is the first time that a French AWACS Aircraft is coming to India. The AWACS is one of the key elements of modern air warfare and members of the Indian Air Force will have the opportunity to go aboard during the exercise.
Although the exercises only begin on 12 February, aircrafts and members of the French Air Force will arrive in India from 7 February, coming from France and Djibouti.
Initiated in 2003, these exercises are part of a larger cooperation between India and France in the field of defence, which was formalized by the bilateral defence cooperation agreement signed on the occasion of the French presidential visit at Delhi in 2006.
This exercise provides both air forces a great opportunity to increase their level of interoperability in order to be ready, one day, to operate side by side, in the pursuance of mutual interests of both nations.