How the Desert Knight exercise will boost India’s air power
New Delhi, Jan 20: India has deployed its Rafale fighters against the French Rafales for a joint exercise called Desert Knight at Jodhpur.
In the ongoing operation, Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat will undertake a sortie in the French Rafale fighters.
Officials said that the aim of the exercise in which both countries have deployed the fighters and transport planes and mid-air fuelling is to provide operational exposure. The high-voltage exercise which will take place between January 20 and 24 is also aimed at enhancing combat capabilities.
The exercise is in addition to the regular Garuda war-games between the two air forces. The IAF has so far inducted 8 of the 36 Rafales under the Rs 59,000 crore deal with France in September 2016. Another 3 are slated for touchdown by the end of this month, while all 36 will be delivered by April 2022.
The Rafales will also be part of the Republic Day parade this year for the first time. Two of the fighters will be part of the 15 fighters, five transport aircraft, 21 helicopters and a vintage Dakota. They would take part in the flypast on January 26.
The Rafale will undertake the Vertical Charlie manouver by tearing into the sky directly over the Rajpath.