Indian Air Chief begins two-day visit to Sri Lanka to strengthen ties, explore new avenues
Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria called on Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo to discuss further expansion of defence cooperation
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria called on Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapksa in Colombo on Wednesday and discussed areas in the defence sector where cooperation can be expanded further.
He also met Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) Commander Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana.
Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria is on a two-day goodwill visit to Sri Lanka which is expected to open up newer avenues of mutual interest.
“The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force, RKS Bhadauria who is currently visiting SriLanka to attend the 70th Anniversary Celebrations of @airforcelk called on me today. Discussed areas in the defence sector where cooperation can be expanded further,” PM Rajapaksa said on Twitter.
The Air Chief’s visit coincides with the Air Show and Aerobatic Display at the Galle Face to mark the 70th anniversary of the Sri Lankan Air Force. An IAF contingent comprising Suryakiran & Sarang Aerobatic Display Teams and the Tejas LCA is participating in the show.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the Air Chief is scheduled to interact with various dignitaries and the heads of Services of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka. He is visiting Colombo on an invitation from the SLAF Commander.
The fly-past at Galle Face Colombo is significant and reminiscent of the IAF's Suryakiran Display Team’s performance at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of SLAF, two decades ago, the ministry’s statement noted. The IAF contingent had arrived in Colombo on February 27.
According to the Ministry of Defence, IAF and SLAF have had consistent cooperative exchanges over the years and interact regularly through Headquarter level Air Staff talks to share valuable experiences in the fields of ground and flying training, professional military education, HADR & operational best practices.
It also noted that in recent years have also seen the two Air Forces increase inter-personnel engagements through exchange visits of serving personnel and families to both countries.
The presence of the Indian Chief of Air Staff during the inaugural day of the Air Show reinforces the strength of IAF-SLAF ties, the release stated.