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Touching new heights, the Indian Air Force successfully participated in a fortnight-long joint exercise with its French counterpart at the picturesque Istres Base in southern France during which the men in blue had a first-hand experience of state-of-the-art AWACS radar system.The exercise with the French airforce named "Garuda-II", participated in by six Sukhoi-30 multi-role combat fighter aircraft and an IL-78 mid-air refueller, was held from June 15 to June 30 to enhance the strike capabilities of the elite force under varied conditions.
Despite language hiccups and a busy French skyline, the Indian pilots performed "extremely well," a visibly buoyant Group Captain Shreesh Mohan told reporters here. "They coped well with the tough environment," he added.
The exercise has many records to its credit as it was the first time that Sukhoi-30s were deployed outside India and the fighters were controlled by Airbone Warning and Control System (AWACS). The fighter jets also performed a historic feet of flying for more than six hours at a stretch during the drill.
The Indian Sukhois and the French Mirages were engaged in visual and close combat, mixed fighter force operations and offensive and defensive air maneuvres during the exercise, during which Indian fighters flew for more 200 hours.
Originally posted by Daedalus3
hhehe.. notice no statements regarding "which side won" etc. etc..
From an online forum, translated by a French member:
The exercice make the front page of Air&Cosmos mag' this week. Long article.
In few words:
- India showed its brilliant ability to project its forces far away
- first the exercice was to learn to work together with comon missions, cross refuelling, and patrols with M2000C (RDI)
- then, it became more and more complex with fight visual range 1 vs 2 then 2 vs 2 with simulated fires of Magic2 and AA-11 Archer.
- After the 24th of june, the arrival of M2000-5 and more and more complex missions.
First, comon patrols then BVR simulated fights with Mica's and R-77. The problem was the evaluations, it was solved with SLPRM mission recording system for french side, and Indian side GPS recording plus Otaris software aboard a E-3F AWACS which recorded every radar signatures. I worked well, just that they had to stay concentrated for long debriefing at the end of the day, sometime 2 or 3 hours...
- some comon 'sky forbiden' mission were made in comon with the participation of some M2000N and Tucano to simulate the intruders.
- In 8 days, 160 fight sorties, 2 to 4 each days: 80 for the 2000, 74 for the SU30, 4 for the E3-F and 4 for C-135FR as well as Il-78
- unanimous comment: "Indians showed a outstanding proffessionalism as well as a amazing adaptation ability with already good knowledges of OTAN procedures".
"It was simply a pleasure to work with them. On the ground or on the air, the are precise and serious as well as friendly and great comarad".
- French pilots learnt to know the SU30K better. "A powerfull and very manoeuvrable weapon system, which performs as well as the 2000 RDI but inferior to the 2000-5 RDY in its K version.
In close combat, the Mirage is more 'nervous' than the Sukhoi, "the edge must be tacken in the first minute or then, the power and the manoeuvrability of the Su-30 make the difference".