Exercise Tarang Shakti:  An Opportunity for India to Strengthen Global Military Cooperation

Indian Air Force

New Delhi: Emphasising its commitment to strengthening regional security and its role as a reliable partner in the global defence ecosystem, India will be hosting exercise Tarang Shakti. It will be a significant development for India’s military prowess and global alliances, as the Indian Air Force (IAF) gears up to host its first-ever multilateral air force exercise later this year.

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The exercise `Tarang Shakti’, will witness the participation of twelve nations, with six nations joining with their aircraft and the remaining six as observers. Tarang Shakti is set to be the largest multinational air exercise ever held in India and marks a momentous occasion for the IAF underscoring its growing importance in international military cooperation.

According to sources in the defence and security establishment, the Quad nations — United States, Japan, Australia and others including France and the United Kingdom, are among the nations sending their aircraft for this landmark exercise. Set to take place in the Rajasthan sector, `Tarang Shakti’ aims to enhance coordination, interoperability, and integration among the participating air forces, sending a strong message to potential adversaries in the region.

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The IAF has actively participated in war exercises with like-minded nations worldwide, building partnerships and exchanging best practices and exercise Tarang Shakti will be a remarkable milestone for the Air Force.

With the Indian military’s focus on conducting joint exercises among its three armed services to promote jointness and integration, these efforts align with the broader strategic goal of establishing theatre commands. Through joint exercises like Tarang Shakti, India’s armed forces continue to foster synergies, bolster their capabilities, and reinforce the collective defence framework.

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Tarang Shakti will feature a range of aircraft, including fighter jets, military transport aircraft, mid-air refuellers, and airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft. The planning stage is currently underway, with the exercise expected to take place in October or November. Six air forces will participate actively, while the rest will observe and engage in aerial drills, creating an environment of shared learning and cooperation. The Air Force has emerged as a sought-after partner for joint exercises, as evidenced by its participation in exercises conducted by other air forces. This year alone, the IAF has engaged in joint drills with France, Greece, Japan, and the United Kingdom. These exercises have enabled the IAF to showcase its capabilities and expertise on the global stage, further cementing its position as a respected and capable air force.

Having participated in numerous multilateral exercises abroad earlier, exercise Tarang Shakti will be an extraordinary display of IAF’s multinational cooperation on Indian soil. Notably, earlier this year in April, the IAF’s state-of-the-art Rafale fighter jets made their overseas debut in Exercise Orion, held in France. The IAF also took part in Exercise INIOCHOS in Greece and Exercise Cope India 2023 alongside the United States. These international engagements have facilitated invaluable training opportunities, mutual learning, and strengthened diplomatic ties between India and its partner nations.

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By hosting the exercise Tarang Shakti, India reaffirms its role as a responsible global actor as the planned exercise symbolises India’s commitment to collaborative defence and serves as a testament to its growing stature in the international arena.