IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


25th January, 2024 Defence

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On 23 Jan 24, the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted Exercise Desert Knight along with French Air and Space Force (FASF) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force.


  • This joint exercise aimed at fostering synergy and interoperability among the participating air forces.
  • The exercise took place at the Al Dhafra air base in the UAE, with IAF aircraft operating from bases within India.
  • The activities unfolded over the Arabian Sea within the Indian Flight Information Region (FIR).


  • French Air and Space Force (FASF): Contributed the Rafale fighter aircraft and a Multi Role Tanker Transport.
  • UAE Air Force: Fielded the F-16 aircraft.
  • Indian Air Force (IAF): Featured a diverse contingent including Su-30 MKI, MiG-29, Jaguar, AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System), C-130-J, and Air-to-Air Refueller aircraft.


  • Enhancing Synergy: The primary focus was on boosting synergy and interoperability among the participating air forces, facilitating seamless coordination in joint operations.
  • Operational Knowledge Exchange: The exercise provided a platform for the exchange of operational knowledge, experiences, and best practices among the participating nations.

Diplomatic Significance

  • Regional Military Interactions: The joint exercise highlighted the growing diplomatic and military interactions in the region, emphasizing collaborative efforts in addressing common security challenges.
  • Showcasing IAF Prowess: Exercise Desert Knight served as a showcase of the Indian Air Force's capabilities, demonstrating its readiness and proficiency in joint operations with international partners.

Other Defence Exercises between India and France

  • Varuna – Naval exercise
  • Garuda – Air exercise
  • Shakti – Army exercise


Participation in exercises like Desert Knight reflects the commitment of the Indian Air Force to enhancing its operational capabilities through collaboration with allied air forces. The event contributes to building stronger diplomatic ties and fostering a spirit of cooperation in addressing regional security concerns.




Q.  India and France have witnessed a strengthening of defense ties in recent years, marked by various collaborative initiatives and strategic partnerships. Examine the evolving nature of defense relations between India and France, highlighting key areas of cooperation, joint ventures, and challenges. (250 Words)