Thursday, June 10, 2010

Air warfare exercise codenamed Garuda

Our stealth warplanes have gone off to a stealthy air warfare exercise, this time in France.

The New Indian Express ran this story on 8 June 2010 but there's still no word from the world's favourite Public Affairs Directorate.

The Indian Air Force will have their own reasons for publicising this exercise strongly. If their Sukhois end up beating their exercise partners, especially the advanced F-16s used by Singapore, this will be a feather in the cap for their air force.

The implicit message lies with the boast that the IAF can also beat their neighbour's early model F-16s.

The fact that India's PR coup will dent the confidence some Singaporean tax payers will have with their own air force goes without saying. This is why Singapore should have been more proactive in informing Singaporeans about this long-range deployment and some of the likely takeaways from the war games and deploying at such long distances.

There's a typo at the end of the Indian Express story - Rafael (as in the Israeli weapon maker) should be spelt Rafale (the French warplane).

IAF contingent off to France for air combat drills
By Gautam Datt

08 Jun 2010 03:26:19 AM IST

IAF contingent off to France for air combat drills NEW DELHI: A group of India's top of the line combat jet - Sukhoi Su30 MKI - was flagged off from the Bareilly air base in Uttar Pradesh on Monday for France where it would spend around a week to practice various air combat drills involving combat jets from French and Singapore Air Forces.

The supersonic fighters are accompanied by three airtoair refuellers that would keep them airborne for long durations limiting the need for stopovers. The IAF has already accumulated substantial experience of deploying its fighter jets to far flung regions of the world.

This is not the first time that the Su30s, one of the most eagerly watched fighter jets in the world, would be flying in the European skies. The IAF has a regular schedule of conducting exercises with friendly countries.

The last overseas assignment for IAF pilots was to Oman where the deep penetration strike aircraft, Jaguars, performed in a desert environment of the Gulf for the very first time.

The exercise with France known as 'Garuda', is entering its third edition this year. The 230 member IAF team flying in six Su30 MKIs, three IL78 refuellers and an IL76 transporter will be hosted at the Istres air base in France. It also includes IAF's commando force 'Garud.' This is the first time the air commandos are taking part in an overseas exercise.

The IAF combat jets will get an opportunity to fly along with some of the best known fighter aircraft operating in the world today. These include Mirage 2000s and Rafael. The IAF also flies a variant of Mirage 2000 and has also tried Rafael as a possible choice for its new multirole combat jet fleet.

IAF to participate in Exercise Garuda in France
NetIndian News Network
New Delhi, June 7, 2010

An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent of 230 Air Warriors will take part in Exercise Garuda that will be held from June 14-25 at the Istres Air Base in France.

The contingent was formally flagged off from the Air Force Station in Bareilly today by Air Marshal S Varthaman, Senior Air Staff Officer, Central Air Command.

An official press release said the IAF assets participating in the exercise included six Sukhoi 30 MKI air dominance fighter aircraft, three Ilyushin 79 flight refueller aircraft and 1 Ilyushin 76 heavy lift transport aircraft.

The SU-30 MKIs would be taking part in an exercise in France for the first time. Earlier, SU-30 KAs had participated. Also a team of Garud Special Forces would be taking part in Exercise Garuda for the first time, the release said.

"We have prepared well for last 6 to 8 months and I am sure you will excel with your professionalism. So fly safe, fly well, make friends, win hearts and touch the sky with glory," Air Marshal Varthaman said.

The French Air Force will be participating in the exercise with their Mirage 2000s and Rafael aircraft. Singapore Air Force will also be participating in the exercise with its F-16 Block 52 aircraft.

The IAF team will led by Group Captain J Mishra, while Group Captain N N Sinha will be the exercise director.

According to the release, a joint exercise of this nature enhances mutual operational understanding. It also refines the procedural aspects and provides for tremendous learning experience for all the participating air forces. It also enables the operators to understand each other’s capability.

The exercise is also aimed at enhancing and further cementing the close military ties between the Indian and French air forces, the release added.


Anonymous said...

Hope the euro news media will step up and fill in the gaps for this exercise. One can't rely too much on jingoistic and partial south asian journalists


Anonymous said...

And south-east asian ones too...

Anonymous said...

Depends on who is designated Blue and Red and their ROE...
If Blue (most likely Indian AF) gets beaten, something is horribly wrong with their planning as it is supposed to be a learning experience (they are supposed to win with effort)... Also expect sensors and capability use to be restricted so that more WVR fights (which the Sukhois excel in) occur...