New Delhi: Army Chief General Manoj Pande met French Chief of Staff of Air and Space Force, General Stephane Mille and discussed various aspects of defence cooperation between both two nations.

Taking to Twitter, Additional Directorate General of Public Information said, "General Manoj Pande #COAS interacted with General Stephane Mille, Chief of Staff, French Air and Space Force & discussed aspects of #DefenceCooperation between both the defence forces."

Apart from Army Chief, Mille also met Navy Vice Chief Admiral SN Ghormade and discussed the defence cooperation and engagements.

"SpokespersonNavy @indiannavy VAdm SN Ghormade #VCNS interacted with Gen Stephane Mille, Chief of Staff French Air & Space Force #07Nov 22 at New Delhi. Matters of #DefenceCooperation, bilateral ops engagements & mitigation of security concerns in #IOR, were discussed. #India-#France @Armee_de_lair," Spokesperson of the Indian Navy tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and French Air and Space Force (FASF) are participating in a bilateral exercise, named 'Garuda VII', from October 26 to November 12, 2022, at Air Force Station Jodhpur.

In this exercise, FASF is participating with four Rafale fighter aircraft, one A-330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and a contingent of 220 personnel. The IAF is participating with Su-30MKI, Rafale, TEJAS and Jaguar fighter aircraft, as well as the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Mi-17 helicopters, read a press statement from the Ministry of Defence.

The IAF contingent will also include Combat Enabling Assets like Flight Refuelling Aircraft, AWACS and AEW&C. This joint exercise will provide a platform for both countries to enhance operational capability and interoperability, while also sharing best practices.

This is the seventh edition of the bilateral exercise. The first, third and fifth editions were conducted in India in 2003, 2006 and 2014 at Air Force Stations Gwalior, Kalaikunda and Jodhpur, respectively. The second, fourth and sixth editions were conducted in France in 2005, 2010 and 2019.

Participation of the IAF and FASF in this exercise will promote professional interaction, exchange of experiences and enhancement of operational knowledge, besides strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, the statement said.