Three French Rafale jets stop over in India during Indo-Pacific deployment
New Delhi: A French Air and Space Force contingent, including three Rafale jets, was hosted in India during Indo-Pacific deployment, a statement issued by the French Embassy in New Delhi said.
A French Air and Space Force contingent, including three Rafale jets, was hosted for a technical stopover at Air Force Station in Sulur town of Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district on August 10-11 during a long-range deployment from France to the Pacific Ocean.
From August 10 to September 18, the French Air and Space Force is carrying out a major long-range mission in the Indo-Pacific, code-named Pegase 22.
“The first stage of this mission aims to demonstrate France’s capacity 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 (August 10-12),” the statement added.
“The Air Force contingent made a technical stopover at Air Force Station Sulur during this unprecedented 16,600-km deployment.”
As part of Mission Pegase 22, the French Air Force contingent will participate in the ‘Pitch Black’ air exercise to be held in Australia from August 17 to September 10. The Indian Air Force will also participate in this multilateral exercise along with Australia, Japan, the US, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, the UK and South Korea.
Three Rafale combat aircraft will arrive in India on Thursday after flying non-stop from France, an Indian Air Force official said on Wednesday. The three new additions will add to the current fleet of eight Rafale jets.