IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


3rd January, 2024 Security


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  • The UAE Land Forces contingent comprising 45 personnel arrived in India to participate in the 1st edition of the India - UAE Joint Military Exercise ‘DESERT CYCLONE’.



  • Enhancing Interoperability: The exercise seeks to improve coordination and interoperability between the Indian Army contingent, mainly represented by a Battalion from the Mechanised Infantry Regiment, and the UAE Land Forces contingent, consisting of 45 personnel from the Zayed First Brigade.
  • Focus on Sub-conventional Operations: The exercise emphasizes Sub-conventional Operations, especially Fighting in Built-Up Areas (FIBUA), in desert and semi-desert terrains. This includes practicing maneuvers and tactics in these challenging environments.
  • Peacekeeping Operations: With a focus on Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter on Peacekeeping Operations, the exercise aims to enhance cooperation and preparedness during peacekeeping missions.

Details of the Exercise

  • Location and Duration: The exercise is scheduled to take place in Mahajan, Rajasthan, spanning from January 2nd to January 15th, 2024.
  • Planned Drills and Operations:
    • Joint Surveillance Centre Establishment: The exercise involves setting up a Joint Surveillance Centre to coordinate and monitor operations effectively.
    • Cordon and Search Operations: Drills will be conducted to practice and improve the technique of conducting thorough searches in designated areas.
    • Domination of Built-Up Areas: Emphasis will be placed on strategies for controlling and securing built-up areas.
    • Heliborne Operations: Training exercises involving helicopter operations will be conducted to enhance operational capabilities in aerial missions.
  • Collaborative Partnership and Best Practices: 'DESERT CYCLONE' aims to foster a collaborative partnership between India and the UAE. It facilitates the sharing of best practices, tactical knowledge, and military strategies between the participating forces.

India UAE Defence Relations

The defense cooperation between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is rooted in various collaborative efforts and engagements aimed at bolstering military ties and sharing expertise.

Joint Defense Co-operation Committee (JDCC):

  • Establishment: The defense cooperation between India and the UAE is organized and managed through the Joint Defence Co-operation Committee (JDCC), operating at the Ministry level.
  • Agreement on Defence Cooperation: The signing of the Agreement on Defence Cooperation in June 2003 formalized the foundation for bilateral defense collaboration, which became effective from April 2004.

High-Level Visits and Exchanges:

  • Notable high-ranking officials have made goodwill visits between the two nations. For instance, Indian Chief of Army Staff, visited the UAE in 2020, and Indian Chief of Air Staff, visited in 2021.
  • A five-member delegation led by Commander of the UAE Air Force and Air Defence, attended Aero India 2021 in Bengaluru, fostering interactions and engagements between defense establishments.

Participation in Defense Exhibitions:

  • IDEX and NAVDEX: India actively participated in prestigious defense exhibitions such as the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) and the Naval Defence and Maritime Security Exhibition (NAVDEX) held in Abu Dhabi in February 2021. The Indian Defense Industry showcased its capabilities, with representations from defense PSUs and organizations like Ordnance Factory Board, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, DRDO, and Brahmos Aerospace.
  • Dubai Air Show: The Indian Defense delegation joined the Dubai Air Show in November 2021. The pavilion highlighted products from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), and Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Additionally, the IAF aerobatic teams and the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas participated, drawing significant attention.

Multinational Exercises and Support:

  • Desert Flag-06: The Indian Air Force (IAF) participated for the first time in Desert Flag-06 in March 2021, alongside personnel from several countries including the UAE. The UAE Air Force and Air Defence (AF&AD) supported the IAF in ferrying its batches of Rafale aircraft from France.


The 'DESERT CYCLONE' joint military exercise serves as a testament to the growing strategic partnership between India and the UAE in the defense sector. It not only facilitates enhanced military cooperation and preparedness but also signifies a commitment to regional stability and shared security objectives.


Q. Discuss the evolution and significance of defense relations between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a focus on recent developments and their impact on regional security. (250 Words)