A French Air and Space Force force, comprising three Rafale fighter planes, made a strategically important stopover at the Indian Air Force’s Sulur station in Tamil Nadu as part of a massive military operation in the Pacific Ocean.
The Indian Air Force’s assistance to the French force represented the implementation of a reciprocal logistical support agreement inked by France and India in 2018 to strengthen military cooperation.
According to a French readout, the collaboration with the Indian Air Force exhibited a high level of mutual confidence and interoperability between the two sides.
The French force was welcomed for a technical stopover at Air Force Station Sulur on August 10 and 11 as part of a long-distance deployment from metropolitan France to the Pacific Ocean, according to the statement.
From August 10 to September 18, the French Air and Space Force is conducting a massive long-range operation in the Indo-Pacific known as Pegase 22.
“The first stage of this mission seeks to demonstrate France’s capability for long-distance air power projection by deploying an Air Force contingent from metropolitan France to the French territory of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean in less than 72 hours (10th-12th August),” according to the statement.
The French Air Force contingent will participate in the “Pitch Black” air exercise in Australia from the 17th to the 10th of September in the following stages of Mission Pegase 22. Along with Australia, Japan, the United States, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and South Korea, the Indian Air Force will take part in this multilateral exercise.
Mission Pegase 22 is an impressive demonstration of France’s ability to deploy quickly in the Indo-Pacific. The expedition also demonstrates that the French and European commitment to the Indo-Pacific has not been reduced by the security situation in Europe. In this regard, it also seeks to improve connections with major strategic allies like as India, as well as to emphasise France’s support for regional security and stability.
India and France have always had cordial relations. Apart from a tight and expanding bilateral connection, the two nations entered into a Strategic Partnership in 1998, which is illustrative of their convergence of views on a variety of international problems.