Indo-French Joint Exercise Desert Knight-21

      HEADLINES:

Indo-French Joint Exercise Desert Knight-21

      WHY IN NEWS:

Indian Air Force (IAF) and French Air and Space Force will conduct a bilateral Air exercise, Ex Desert Knight-21 at Air Force Station Jodhpur from 20 to 24th Jan 2021.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Defence

      ISSUE: 

EXERCISE DESERT KNIGHT-21

The exercise is unique as it includes fielding of Rafale aircraft by both sides and is indicative of the growing interaction between the two premier Air Forces.

Presently, the French detachment for Ex Desert Knight-21 is deployed in Asia as part of their SKYROS Deployment‘.

Beginning September 2020, the IAF has inducted and operationalised eight Rafale fighter jets of the 36 jets contracted from France in a 7.87-billion euro deal in 2016.

DURATION

The five-day joint air drill between India and France started on 20 January 2021 and will end on 24 January 2021 and is named as Desert Knight-21.

PARTICIPANTS

French Air and Space Force Participation: It is participating with its Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRtt), A-400M Tactical Transport Aircraft and around 175 personnel. 

SIGNIFICANCE

The exercise indicates the growing interaction between the two premier Air Forces.

At present, the French detachment for Ex Desert Knight-21 is deployed in Asia as part of their SKYROS Deployment and will ferry in forces to Air Force Station Jodhpur. 

As measures to further the existing cooperation, the two forces have been gainfully utilising available opportunities to conduct ‘hop-exercises‘.

DEFENCE EXERCISES BETWEEN INDIA AND FRANCE

  1. Varuna – Naval exercise
  2. Garuda – Air exercise
  3. Shakti – Army exercise

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The Desert Knight-21 Exercise is unique as it will include the fielding of Rafale Fighter jets by both sides. 

It also indicates the growing interaction between the air forces of the two nations– India and France. 

Amid the air drill, the two forces will also exchange ideas and best practices to enhance interoperability. 

     SOURCES:  PIB  | Indo-French Joint Exercise Desert Knight-21 | UPSC

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