The Indian contingent participating in the ‘Veer Guardian-2023’ air exercise includes four Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 aircraft.
New Delhi: Amid increasing concerns over China’s military muscle-flexing in the Indo-Pacific region, India and Japan on Thursday (January 12, 2023) began their first bilateral air exercise.
The ‘Veer Guardian-2023’ exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) is taking place at Japan’s Hyakuri air base and will continue till January 26.
The Indian contingent participating in the air exercise includes four Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 aircraft, while the JASDF is participating with four F-2 and four F-15 aircraft.
The inaugural exercise includes the conduct of various aerial combat drills between the two Air Forces.
They will undertake multi-domain air combat missions in a complex environment and will exchange best practices.
Experts from both sides will also hold discussions to share their expertise on varied operational aspects.
“Exercise ‘Veer Guardian’ will fortify the long-standing bond of friendship and enhance the avenues of defence cooperation between the two Air Forces,” India’s Ministry of Defence said.
“This exercise will be another step in deepening strategic ties and closer defence cooperation between the two countries,” the Ministry added.
India and Japan agreed to step up bilateral defence cooperation and engage in more military exercises, including holding of the first joint fighter jet drills, during the second ‘2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial’ meeting in Tokyo in September last year.