• All set to fly over Champs Elysees at Bastille Day Parade


New Delhi. 07 July 2023. A flying contingent of four Rafale fighters, two C-17 Globemasters and 72 IAF personnel has departed for France today. The fly past & marching by the IAF air warriors on Bastille Day follows a long association that the two nations share, especially in the field of the air power. Many Indians like Welinkar, Shivdev Singh, HC Dewan & Jumbo Majumdar have fought over the skies of France during the two World Wars. Some, like Jumbo Majumdar were also decorated for their gallant action, over the Falaise Gap, during the terminal phase of World War II.

The Indian Air Force has also operated multiple French aircraft starting with the Ouragan. This was followed by fighter aircraft like Breguet Alize, Mystere IVA, SEPECAT Jaguar, Mirage 2000 and now, the Rafale. Helicopters like the Alouette-III & Lama continue to render yeoman services to India, especially in the remote Himalayan areas. As a matter of fact, the IAF marching contingent is commanded by Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy, who is an accomplished helicopter pilot. She has also extensively flown the Alouette-III helicopter in her service.

The professional ties between the two Air Forces have also been strengthened during flying exercises like Ex Desert Knight, Garuda and Orion. The IAF’s Rafale aircraft, flying wings to wings with the FASF, is reflective of this strategic friendship spanning decades that continues to mature, both, on ground, as well as in air.