The Air exercise between Indian Air Force and France Air & Space Force named ‘Ex-Desert-21’ starts today in Jodhpur near the Indo-Pak border. A French A-400M tactical airlift aircraft carrying FASF personnel has landed at Jodhpur airbase.
The Airbus A400M Atlas is a European four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed by Airbus Military (now Airbus Defense and Space) to be used as a tactical airlift aircraft, in simpler words; this aircraft performs the same role for FASF as what a C-17 Globemaster does for the IAF.
The Ex-Desert 21 will include French Rafales for the first time alongside IAF Su-30MKIs. The exercise marks an important milestone between two air forces.
According to defense sources, France FASF to take part with Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport, A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft & approx 175 personnel. IAF aircraft including Mirage 2000, Su-30 MKI, Rafale, IL-78 Flight Refueling Aircraft are also to take part in the exercise
#WATCH | Rajasthan: Four French Rafale fighter aircraft land at Jodhpur Air Force base to participate in Exercise Desert Knight-2021. The aircraft would participate in the wargames with the Indian Air Force Rafale fighter jets. pic.twitter.com/vsCURKksuC— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2021
The main purpose of this exercise is to familiarize IAF with the operational applicability of Rafale in a simulated war-like scenario as French pilots are best trained to fly this state of the art aircraft.