Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria leaves for France; will flag off six Rafale to India


New Delhi: Marking the continuity of growing bilateral defence cooperation with the French Air and Space Force, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) left for France on Monday on an official visit.

The visit of CAS from April 19 – 23 will enhance potential avenues for strengthening the level of interaction between the two Air Forces.

CAS will hold meetings and discussions with senior military leadership of France and visit operational facilities and airbases. The visit comes after Gen Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff, French Air and Space Force (FASF) visited India in February 2020.

Meanwhile, sources said that CAS will flag off six Rafle during his visit to France. Earlier, these were scheduled to fly from there to India on April 28 but the event has been advanced by a week to coincide with the visit of CAS.

The two Air Forces have seen significant operational interaction in the recent past. IAF and FASF engage in the bilateral air exercise series ‘Garuda’, as well as hop exercises, the last being Ex Desert Knight 21 held at Air Force Station Jodhpur in January 2021. IAF and FASF also participated in Ex Desert Flag hosted by UAE Air Force along with other friendly countries in March 2021.

The visit of CAS will be a significant step in further enhancing mutual cooperation.