India’s air force has sent a team of its latest Rafale fighter jets, along with a C-17 transport aircraft, to participate in ‘Exercise Orion’, a joint military exercise with the French Air Force. The exercise took place in France from May 17 to May 21, 2021.
This joint exercise provided an opportunity for both countries to strengthen their bilateral defence ties and to enhance their interoperability. The Indian Air Force (IAF) team participated in various complex and challenging missions, including air-to-air refuelling, offensive and defensive counter-air operations, and air defence operations.
The Rafale fighter jets, which were recently acquired by India, are among the most advanced combat aircraft in the world. These jets are equipped with state-of-the-art weapons systems, including the Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and the Scalp air-launched cruise missile. The C-17 transport aircraft is also a highly capable asset, capable of carrying heavy loads over long distances.
The exercise was conducted under strict COVID-19 protocols, and the Indian team was lauded for its professionalism and dedication. The IAF’s participation in ‘Exercise Orion’ highlights the close defence cooperation between India and France and demonstrates the capabilities of India’s modern air force.
In conclusion, the participation of India’s Rafale jets and C-17 transport aircraft in ‘Exercise Orion’ is a testament to India’s growing military capabilities and its commitment to building strong defence partnerships with friendly nations. The exercise has further strengthened the ties between the Indian and French air forces and is a positive step towards enhancing interoperability in joint military operations.