The 3 French Rafale planes make a stopover in India during the Indo-Pacific deployment | Latest India News

A contingent of the French Air and Space Force, including three Rafale aircraft, made a strategically crucial stopover at the IAF’s Sulur base in Tamil Nadu as part of a mega military operation that she conducted in the Pacific Ocean.

The support provided by the Indian Air Force to the French force reflected the implementation of the reciprocal logistics support agreement signed by France and India in 2018 to strengthen military cooperation.

A French reading said on Thursday that cooperation with the Indian Air Force demonstrated a high level of mutual trust and interoperability between the two sides.

He said the French contingent was hosted for a technical stopover at Sulur Air Base on August 10-11 during a long-distance deployment from mainland France to the Pacific Ocean.

The Air and Space Force is conducting a large long-range mission in the Indo-Pacific, dubbed Pegase 22, from August 10 to September 18.

“The first stage of this mission aims to demonstrate France’s long-range air power projection capability by deploying an Air Force contingent from mainland France to the French territory of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean in less than 72 hours (August 10-12),” the statement read.

“To achieve this unprecedented deployment of 16,600 km, the Air Force contingent made a technical stopover in India, at Air Force Station Sulur,” he said.

The contingent includes three Rafale jets and support aircraft.

“Landing at Sulur Air Base on the evening of August 10, it flew off in the early hours of August 11 after refueling, en route to New Caledonia,” the statement said.

“The operation demonstrated a high level of mutual trust and interoperability between the French and Indian air forces, which was further enhanced by the fact that both air forces now use Rafale aircraft,” he said. .

The briefing mentioned that the cooperation between the two air forces illustrates the “concrete” implementation of the reciprocal logistics support agreement.

“France is a resident power in the Indo-Pacific, and this ambitious projection of long-range air power demonstrates our commitment to the region and our partners,” French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain said, hailing the role of the IAF in the success of the operation.

He said it was natural that to carry out this mission, France would rely on India, which he described as “France’s first strategic partner in Asia”.

In the next stages of Mission Pegase 22, the French Air Force contingent will participate in the “Pitch Black” aerial exercise which will take place in Australia from August 17 to September 10.

The Indian Air Force will also participate in this multilateral exercise, alongside Australia, Japan, the United States, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the South Korea.

The Pegase 22 mission is a powerful demonstration of France’s rapid deployment capability in the Indo-Pacific.

“The mission is also proof that the security situation in Europe has not diminished French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific. In this regard, it also aims to strengthen ties with key strategic partners,” said said the French press release.

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