Rafale Current Affairs - 2019
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Indian Air Force (IAF) and Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) are participating in Garuda VI, a bilateral air exercise at Mont de Marsan in France.
The last edition of joint exercise between IAF-FAF was held in June 2014 at Air Force Station Jodhpur, Rajasthan. This year is the 6th edition of exercise which is taking place from 1 July to 12 July 2019.
About Garuda VI
Objective: This joint India-France air exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability level of French and Indian crews in air defence and ground attack missions.
Drill: The exercise will see most potent fighter aircraft of India and France going head-to-head to validate latest defence strategies and fine-tune their waging capabilities.
Aircrafts Participating: It is expected to showcase fighter jets such as Rafale, Sukhoi 30 and Mirage 2000 from two sides.
- IAF contingent comprises of- 120 air-warriors and 4 Sukhoi 30 MKI along with an IL-78 flight refuelling aircraft. Also, IAF’s C-17 Globemaster strategic lift aircraft will provide logistics support to contingent during induction and de-induction phases.
- French Air Force (FAF) units will comprise- Rafale, Mirage 2000, C135, E3F, C130, Casa and Alpha Jet.
Significance: Such joint exercises between two countries increases understanding of interoperability during mutual operations between two air forces as well as provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices.
On May 1, Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria will take over as Vice Chief of Indian Air Force, after superannuation of incumbent Air Marshal Anil Khosla. Post induction he will be looking after all air operations being carried out by force.
Service and Tenure
RKS Bhadauria was commissioned into India Air Force fighter stream on 15 June 1980 with the Sword of Honour. He has held important designations like Commandant of National Defence Academy, Senior Air Staff Officer at Central Air Command and Deputy Chief of Air Staff from January 2016 to February 28, 2017. As Deputy Chief, he was chairman of Indian negotiating team for 36 Rafale combat aircraft deal with France. From March 2017 till august 2018, he served as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Southern Air Command. He currently heads IAF’s Bengaluru-based Training Command.
Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS)
The VCAS is second-highest ranking Officer in Indian Air Force (IAF). It is a three-star appointment and is held by an Air Officer of the rank of Air Marshal. He serves as Principal Staff Officer (PSO) at Air Headquarters, New Delhi. His responsibilities include operations and flying related tasks. The VCAS assumes duties and responsibilities of Chief of Air Staff (CAS) in event of his absence or is unable to perform his duties.