The Indian Air Force (IAF) along with French Air and Space Force participated in Ex Desert Knight 2021 at Air Force Station in Rajasthan's Jodhpur. A first of its kind bilateral exercise (Ex DK-21), Rafale aircraft from both sides along with Su-30 MKI and Mirage 2000 aircraft of the IAF undertook complex missions including Large Force Engagements.
Combat enablers included AWACS, AEW&C aircraft of the IAF as well as A400M and A330 based MRTT (Medium Range Tanker and Transport) aircraft of the FASF.
Both Air Forces exercised in realistic settings with an aim to enhance operational capabilities and interoperability. The exercise provided an opportunity to share best practices and evolve operational concepts; particularly for effective combat employment of the Rafale fleet.
On January 21, Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat visited Air Force Station in Jodhpur and interacted with participating forces.
He also flew on-board the MRTT along with Major General Laurent Lherbette, the FASF contingent leader where he was given an overview on conduct of the exercise and witnessed air-to-air refuelling operations by IAF and FASF fighters.