This Article First Appeared In Japantimes On Jan 16, 2023
India and Japan kicked off their first-ever joint fighter aircraft exercise on Monday as the two strategic partners continue to deepen defense and security ties amid growing concerns over China’s assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
Named Veer Guardian-23, the aerial maneuvers were taking place in the airspace around the Air Self-Defense Force’s Hyakuri and Iruma air bases in Ibaraki Prefecture, running until Jan. 26.
The ASDF said in a statement that the purpose of the exercises is to “promote mutual understanding, strengthen defense cooperation between the air forces” and enhance the ASDF’s tactical skills.
The Indian Ministry of Defense said the 11-day exercise, which will include training for various “air combat missions in a complex environment,” will also fortify the “long-standing bond of friendship” and pave the way for greater interoperability between the two air forces.
The Indian contingent includes four Su-30MKI multirole fighters, two C-17 Globemaster transport planes, one IL-78 aerial tanker and about 150 personnel, while the ASDF will field four F-2s and an equal number of F-15 multirole fighters.