Press Trust of India

Rafale jets of India, France carry out mega air exercise

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New Delhi: Rafale jets of India and France have been jointly carrying out aerial drills as part of a multinational air exercise at the French airbase of Mont-de-Marsan, officials said on Tuesday.

Shivangi Singh, the Indian Air Force’s first woman Rafale pilot is part of the Indian team that is participating in the Exercise Orion, they said.

In January, Squadron Leader Avani Chaturvedi scripted history by becoming the first IAF woman fighter pilot to take part in an aerial wargame abroad.

Chaturvedi, a Su-30MKI pilot, was part of the IAF’s contingent that participated in the 16-day mega air combat exercise with Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) at the Japanese airbase of Hyakuri from January 12 to 26.

India deployed four Rafale jets, two C-17 aircraft and two IL-78 mid-air refuellers for the three-week multinational exercise in France that began on April 17.

It was the first overseas exercise for the Indian Air Force’s Rafale jets.

“As both the French and Indian Air Forces now fly Rafale jets, it opens up new levels of interoperability!” French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain tweeted.

Besides the IAF and the French Air and Space Force (FASF), air forces from several other countries including Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain are participating in the exercise.


Press Trust of India

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