India and France in defence clinch, in air and on sea | India News

NEW DELHI: India and France are now set to carry out a joint maritime surveillance mission in the Southern Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as part of their strong strategic partnership, even as their air force commanders take to the skies by fighter jets in the meantime’Garuda‘air combat drills in Jodhpur on Tuesday.
Officials say an Indian P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft Navy landed at the strategically located La Réunion, a French overseas island east of Madagascar and southwest of Mauritius, for joint ocean mapping and surveillance operations with the French Navy “to raise further increase maritime awareness, security and safety south of IOR”.
This becomes important for China, which has the world’s largest navy with 355 warships and submarines, which is actively seeking logistics facilities in the IOR after establishing its first base in the Philippines. abroad in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa in 2017.
At the same time, during the ongoing seventh edition of the bilateral Garuda exercise in Jodhpur, Air Marshal VR Chaudhari flew in a two-seat Rafale jet, while the Air and Space Force France (FASF) Minister Stéphane Mille conducted a sortie on a Sukhoi-30MKI on Tuesday.
There is more and more possibility of interaction between IAF and FASF, with exercise Garuda providing a “unique opportunity” for both to learn from each other and adopt best practices during operations, ACM Chaudhari said.
Stressing how important it is to learn to interact with friendly nations, the head of the IAF said air power would play a very important role in determining the outcome of any conflict in the region. future.
India has signed reciprocal military logistics treaties with France and other countries such as the US, Japan, Australia, South Korea and Singapore to enhance its strategic reach in the IOR to counter China’s expansion. China in the region.
These India-signed treaties allow deployed military forces to share logistics to support each other’s warships and aircraft as part of overall defense cooperation. For example, India hosted Rafale fighters and other FASF aircraft at Sulur airbase while they were on a long-distance Pégase-22 deployment to New Caledonia in the Pacific in August.
The two countries have consolidated their deep defense ties in all areas, including maritime security, counter-terrorism, information sharing, aerospace and defense-industrial cooperation.
The IAF’s introduction of 36 Rafale fighters under a contract of Rs 59,000 in September 2016, in addition to projects to build new Scorpene submarines and upgrade Mirage-2000 fighters, further cemented the relationship.


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