Thursday, October 21, 2010
12:44 AM ASIAN DEFENCE No comments
Indian armed forces have chalked out a stunning round of combat exercises with foreign forces in the coming several months to use "defence diplomacy" as a tool to bolster national security as well as promote strategic cooperation. Defence ministry officials say the 1.13-million Army alone has planned 14 to 18 exercises with countries ranging from the US, UK and Russia to Bangladesh, Mongolia, Thailand and Tajiskistan, both at home and abroad. For instance, the armies of Seychelles and Singapore will be in Belgaum and Deolali in January for joint combat exercises with Indian soldiers. Similar is the case with Navy and IAF. Indian warships will hold combat manoeuvres with French warships, including nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, during the "Varuna" wargames on the high seas in January. "Indian and French navies and air forces have build a high-level of interoperability through such exercises...We have a strategic partnership," said visiting French chief of defence staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud.