Indo-France Exercise: Desert Knight-21

Military Exercises are always used to assess the participating forces even though they may be from friendly countries. The efficacy of their platforms/ weapons and their effective ranges, signatures etc are all analysed and recorded. The professionalism of the personnel is of primary importance since any equipment is only as good as the human behind it. Thus, the response timing, thinking process and work ethos are also noted for developing better interoperability.Military exercises indicate an evolving strategic congruence or in some cases an instrument to reduce mistrust, as a confidence-building measure between powerful countries of the world .This also serves the purpose of ensuring the combat readiness of garrisoned or deployable forces prior to deployment from a home base .  Military exercises for country like India is also important in scenario for high-level weaponry systems & combat readiness. The Tri-Services of the Indian Armed forces participates in a no. of military exercises with its friendly nations .There are a no.of exercise which is held at different phase of the year and tests the combat balance of the armed forces. Such exercises are :-

  • Sampriti (Indo-Bangladesh)
  • Mitra Shakti(Indo-Sri lanka )
  • Exercise Maitree(Indo-Thailand)
  • Vajra Prahar(Indo-US)
  • Yuddh Abhyas(Indo-US)
  • Nomadic Elephant(Indo-Mongolian)
  • Garuda Shakti(Indo-Indonesian)
  • Exercise Shakti(Indo-French)
  • Dharma Guardian(Indo-Japan)
  • Surya Kiran(Indo-Nepal)
  • Hand in hand Exercise(Indo-China)

India & France are two military ties which rules the global militia in the world .The RAFALE deal is such an example.India and france often conducts bilateral exercises. The DESERT KNIGHT-21 is one of them .


Indian Air Force & France Air and Space Force will conduct a bilateral air exercise air Force Station, Jodhpur. This exercise will be conducted from 20 January to 24 January. A no. of world-class Air flyers will take part in the exercise. French side will participate with Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft, and approximately 175 personnel. The Indian Air Force aircraft participating in the exercise will include Mirage 2000, Su-30 MKI, Rafale, IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft, AWACS, and AEW&C aircraft. The five-day exercise would witness a profusion of aircraft from both the nation.  The most fascinating thing in the exercise would be the participation of the mighty Rafales from both the Air forces.

The Exercise counts a milestone in the series of affiance of both the Air forces. This is not the first time that these two countries are coming as such. Indian Air Force and France Air and Space Force have held six editions of Air Exercises named “GARUDA” earlier before. The latest edition was held in 2019 in France. Presently the France Detachment for Desert Knight – 21 is deployed in Asia as part of their ‘Skyros Deployment’ and will shuttle in forces to Air Force in Jodhpur. Over 175 Air force personnel of the France Air Force and 200 personnel from the Indian Air Force will join the exercise.

RAFALE  in Republic Day:

IAF inducted &OperationalisedtheEightDassaultRafale fighter jets in the 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’at  Air Force station Ambala on September 10,2020. The aircraft will be part of India’s Republic Day celebration on January 26, 2021. “The flypast will culminate with a single Rafale aircraft carrying out a ‘vertical charlie’ formation”.

At the Republic Day flypast,42 aircraft will take part including a vintage Dakota plane and 15 fighters, and 10 transport aircraft. There will be 17 helicopters from the IAF and four from the Army Aviation. The IAF marching contingent will have four officers and 96 airmen led by Flight Lieutenant TanikSharma, The IAF will showcase models of indigenously developed Tejas, Light Combat Helicopters, SU-30MKI, and Rohini medium-range surveillance radar. The SU-30MKI would be equipped with the indigenous ASTRA beyond visual range(BVR) Air to Air Missile.

The daily growing military of India needs to apprise themselves in a deviant manner and such bilateral exercise will certainly avail to achieve it.


Leave a comment