The Indian Air Force (IAF) and French Air Force pilots are practising their war-waging skills at the Garuda VI exercise in France. Interestingly, the pilots of both the countries took selfies mid-air from their cockpits while practising at Mont de Marsan (southwest of France) on Monday. While IAF Squadron Leader Sourabh Ambure flew the French Rafale, the Armée de l’Air pilot was flying India’s Sukhoi Su-30 MKI Aircraft. He posted a selfie mid-air from the cockpit of the twin-seater flight.
Later, both the teams shared the photos of the pilots on Twitter. In a tweet, the French pilot exclaimed “Great Aircraft!”.
The air forces of India and France are taking part in a joint exercise at Mont de Marsan that begin on July 1 and will end July 12, which will see participation of fighter jets like Rafale, Mirage 2000, Sukhoi 30 from the two sides.
The Indian Air Force contingent comprises 120 air-warriors and four Sukhoi 30 MKI along with an IL-78 flight refuelling aircraft, according to the IAF.
The exercise will see deployment of a great majority of French Air Force units like Rafale, Alpha Jet, Mirage 2000, C135, E3F, C130, Casa, a statement by the French embassy here said.
A part of their Indo-Pacific cooperation, the Garuda exercise, which will take place from July 1-12 at Mont de Marsan (southwest of France), is a tactical Indo-French exercise aimed at enhancing the interoperability level of the French and Indian crews in air defence and ground attack missions.
Falling under the global framework of bilateral cooperation between the two nations, the Garuda exercise is alternately held in France and India, the French embassy said.
This is the sixth edition of Exercise Garuda. The last exercise, 'Garuda V', was held at Air Force Station Jodhpur in June 2014.
Participation of IAF in the exercise will also promote professional interaction, exchange experiences and operational knowledge besides strengthening bilateral relations with the French Air Force, the IAF statement said.