The fifth Indo-French bilateral air exercise — Garuda-V — began at the Jodhpur Air Base on Monday. It is aimed at enhancing operational cooperation and validating capabilities. The exercise will involve the assets of IAF’s main operational formations, including the Gandhinagar-based South Western Air Command and the Allahabad-based Central Air Command.

Frontline fighter aircraft of the IAF, including the SU 30, Mig-27 (UPG), MIG- 21 Bison, and force multipliers such as the AWACS and Flight Refueller Aircraft IL 78 are participating while the French have fielded their frontline Rafale Fighter aircraft along with the KC 135 Refueller.

A Defence spokesperson said during the war games both the Air Forces will practice aerial warfare, including manoeuvres to carry out surgical strikes,. In this fortnight-long exercise the Air Forces would also engage in operations based on their ‘operational philosophy’ and methodology of operations practising various challenging air situation scenarios. The exercise would help both in appreciating the intricacies of planning and conduicting combat missions in an operational environment.

The exercise, whose previous edition was held at Istres, France, in 2010 will end on June 13.