First India-France army war game in Sept-Oct

July 29th, 2011 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) India will for the first time hold a joint army war game with France when platoon-sized forces from each side undertake counter-terrorism operations at Chaubatia in Uttarakhand in September-October.

The ‘Shakti’ exercise will be a regular series like the ‘Varuna’ and ‘Garuda’ joint drills between the two navies and air forces, an officer at the army headquarters here said Friday.

Shakti is a sign of growing military-to-military relations between the two strategic partners in geopolitics, with France being an staunch supporter of India’s candidature for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council, apart from being a partner in the civilian nuclear power sector.

India has recently short-listed the French Rafale fighter jet for the $10.4 billion tender for 126 combat aircraft for its air force and it is pitted against European consortium EADS’ Eurofighter Typhoon. The lowest bidder among the two will be known in about a month-and-half from now.

India also Friday signed a deal with French defence firms Thales and Dassault for upgrade of its 51 Mirage-2000 fighter jets of the 1980s vintage at a cost of $2.4 billion.

Meanwhile, 200 Indian Army troops are participating in the ‘Ajayee Warrior’ war game with the British Army at the latter’s hi-tech land warfare centre near Salisbury, the officer said.

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