Veer Guardian-2023

India and Japan have announced that they will hold their first bilateral air exercise, known as ‘Veer Guardian-2023’, from January 12 to 26. The exercise, which will be held at Japan’s Hyakuri air base, reflects the growing defense ties between the two countries, particularly in light of increasing concerns over China’s military muscle flexing in the Indo-Pacific region. The exercise will involve the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF), and will include various aerial combat drills and multi-domain air combat missions.

Growing Defense Ties

  • India and Japan have been strengthening their defense ties in recent years, with both countries expressing concerns over China’s increasing military presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • During the second ‘2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial’ dialogue in Tokyo in September, India and Japan agreed to step up bilateral defense cooperation and engage in more military exercises. This includes holding the first joint fighter jet drills, of which Veer Guardian-2023 will be a part.

Objectives of the Exercise

  • The exercise is aimed at promoting air defense cooperation between the two countries and will include the conduct of various aerial combat drills between the two air forces.
  • These drills will take place in a complex environment and will include multi-domain air combat missions. The IAF and JASDF will exchange best practices and experts from both sides will hold discussions to share their expertise on varied operational aspects.

Participation of Indian and Japanese Air Forces

  • The Indian Air Force will be participating in the exercise with four Su-30 MKI jets, two C-17 aircraft, and one IL-78 plane. The Japan Air Self Defence Force, on the other hand, will be participating with four F-2 and four F-15 aircraft.
  • The exercise will serve as an opportunity to enhance the bond of friendship and increase the avenues of defense cooperation between the two air forces.

The bilateral air exercise between India and Japan, Veer Guardian-2023, is a reflection of the growing defense ties between the two countries and their shared concerns over China’s military muscle flexing in the Indo-Pacific region. The exercise will include various aerial combat drills and multi-domain air combat missions and experts from both sides will hold discussions to share their expertise on varied operational aspects. The exercise will fortify the long-standing bond of friendship between India and Japan and enhance the avenues of defense cooperation between the two air forces.

 

Written by IAS POINT

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