Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari with SAAF Chief, Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo

India’s Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, recently embarked on a visit to South Africa in June, aimed at enhancing bilateral military cooperation between the two nations.

During his stay from 6th to 10th May, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari conducted presentations at key South African Air Force bases, including Ysterplaat, Overberg, and Langebaanweg. These presentations showcased the cutting-edge capabilities and advancements of the South African Air Force. Notably, a highlight of the visit was the tour of the SA Air Force Museum Ysterplaat Hangar 4, where historic aircraft were on display, symbolizing the rich heritage and valour of both air forces.

Beyond military prowess, the collaboration between India and South Africa extends to a shared vision of peace, stability, and prosperity in their respective regions and beyond. The visit underscored the commitment of both countries to work together across various domains, including defence, trade, and cultural exchange. This partnership aims to benefit not only India and South Africa but also the global community as a whole.

The recent visit by India’s Chief of the Air Staff has laid a solid foundation for a robust partnership, which is expected to contribute significantly to regional stability and create new avenues for bilateral cooperation, as affirmed by the South African Air Force (SAAF).

In a reciprocal gesture, SAAF Chief Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo had previously visited Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari in India during a goodwill tour in November 2021. These interactions also included meetings with the heads of the Indian Navy and Army.

India and South Africa maintain a pattern of frequent high-level military exchanges, training programs, joint exercises, and the sharing of best practices. Notably, Exercise IBSAMAR—a series of major naval exercises involving the navies of South Africa, India, and Brazil—has been held biannually since 2008. Additionally, Indian Navy warships regularly visit South African ports, further strengthening the strategic partnership between the two nations.

(With Inputs From International Agencies)