The Indian Air Force’s Rafale fighter jets will be participating in a military exercise in France that involves thousands of NATO troops. The jets are expected to arrive in France in mid-April to participate in Orion 23, a large-scale war game that includes multiple dimensions, such as ground troops, warships, aircraft carriers, and combat aircraft. The exercise, which began in February and is scheduled to end in early May, is aimed at enhancing military cooperation and interoperability among participating nations.
It is expected that the Indian Rafale fighter jets will participate in a French military exercise called Orion 23, which involves NATO troops and various types of military equipment such as ground troops, warships, and combat aircraft. The Golden Arrows squadron, which is part of the Western Air Command, is likely to provide the aircraft for the exercise. The war game is currently underway and will end in early May, and is taking place against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, with NATO led by the United States opposing Russia’s moves.
About the exercise:
- The Rafales of the IAF have earlier participated in wargames with foreign countries which took place within India including the ones with French Air Force in Jodhpur codenamed Desert Knight. The French Air Force would be taking part in the wargames with its NATO and other allies with their Rafale and Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft. Orion is reportedly the largest ever multinational exercise being carried out by the French defence forces which have involved their Army, Navy and Air Force along with their allies the US and the UK.
- Over 7,000 NATO troops have reportedly taken part in the drill involving the land forces of their NATO allies.
- The Indian Air Force is also going to take part in Exercise Copeindia from April 10 in Kalaikunda, West Bengal. There is the possibility that the schedule of the drills and availability of American F-15 fighter planes may see some changes, sources said. The Rafale aircraft are the latest fighters to have been inducted into the Indian Air Force and are considered to be the most potent in the entire Asian region.
- The 36 Rafales have been completely inducted and they have played a significant role in improving the country’s operational preparedness along both the borders with Pakistan and China.
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