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At the French base of Istres (Base aérienne 125, named "Charles Monier") the Indian-French exercise GARUDA2 was performed between the 15th and 30th of June 2005. GARUDA 2 is on of the many bi-national exercises that take place with the French Air force. In September 2005, some Singaporese F-16’s were based at the French base of Dijon for the exercise ‘Western Arc’.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
© Sentry Aviation News

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  For GARUDA 1, the French air force went to India, for GARUDA 2 the Indian air force came to France. After an intermediate fuel stop in Egypt, the Indian delegation of 120 personnel arrived on June 15th in France with 6 Sukhoi-30M, 1 Ilushin-78 MK1 tankers and 2 Ilushin-76 transport aircraft. The Sukhois-30 came from the 15th Wing, 24th Squadron at airstation Bareilly, in the county of Uttar Pradesh.

The aim of the exercise was to exchange experiences about procedures and tactics. And to improve interoperability between the aircraft of the 2 nations; by flying mixed missions and by doing mixed Air-to-Air-Refueling (AAR) by the French C-135F and the Indian IL-78.

After the first active day of familiarization flying, the next 7 flying days started with assignments increasing in difficulty. Starting from simple, visible dogfights and going to Beyond-Visual-Range (BVR) fights. Also the protection of slow aircraft (a Tucano) and a fast AWACS was exercised. The Indian delegation flew some 75 missions with the SU-30, while the French air force flew some 80 missions with various Mirage 2000. The French Mirage 2000’s came from Orange, Dijon and Istres

The numbers of the participating Indian aircraft were: SU30: SB010, SB013, B014, SB016, SB017, SB018 IL78MK1: RK3451

Publications: AIREVIEW 2005-10 has a GARUDA 2 item
Aviation News 2005-08 has a GARUDA 2 SU-30 photo

Acknowledgments: Thanks to SIRPA.AIR (Paris), Istres Public Affairs and Patrick Bigel for their support.

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