Home National India, Japan To Conduct Veer Guardian Exercise Eyeing ‘Common Adversary’ China

India, Japan To Conduct Veer Guardian Exercise Eyeing ‘Common Adversary’ China

Veer Guardian-2023: First time ever, the Indian Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) will be conducting a bilateral fighter training exercise to ‘signal China’ about the combined air power of both countries.

by News Desk
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New Delhi: Keeping in view the threats emerging from a growing China, which is considered to be a “common adversary” for India and Japan, both countries will be holding their maiden joint ‘Veer Guardian’ exercise between their respective air forces.

Exercise ‘Veer Guardian-2023’ will be taking place from January 16 to January 26 at Japan’s Hyakuri Air Base and Iruma Air Base, and aims to signal China that “Japan can provide air support to India from the Pacific while India and can help Japan with its air strength from the side of the Indian Ocean” at times of need, according to a top-level source.

From the IAF, the aircraft that will participate in the exercise are four Su-30MKIs and two C-17s, while from the Japanese side there will be four F-2s and four F-15 fighter jets.“In the backdrop of an emerging China it is critical that both India and Japan come together in all aspects, including air force.

This is happening for the first time and the idea is to give out strong signals to China, which is a common adversary for both India as well as Japan,” the source said. Tokyo and New Delhi decided to hold this exercise during the last 2+2 talks between the defence and foreign ministers that took place in September 2022.


During the talks, India had also told Japan that it will support Tokyo’s plan to acquire counter-strike missiles as part of security and defence cooperation between the two countries.

‘Strong Signal’ To China

According to another source, the maiden ‘Veer Guardian-2023’ exercise will not only send a “strong signal” to China about the combined strength of these two countries but it will also be a “direct message” to Beijing about the strength of the Quad. India and Japan are partners in the Quad, along with the US and Australia.

“We need to integrate more, both at the bilateral level and also at the multilateral level such as the Quad… This is bound to upset China as they don’t want these countries to come together,” the source added. ‘ According to the source, Japan strongly believes in what former Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat had said about China that it is India’s “biggest security threat”, bigger than Pakistan.

The four Su-30MKIs and two C-17s from India made a brief stopover in Thailand early Monday morning and engaged in brief discussions with the Royal Thai Air Force and Navy.

The IAF contingent was received by India’s Ambassador to Thailand Nagesh Singh. The contingent will arrive in Japan on January 12.Exercise ‘Veer Guardian-2023’ will also enable Japan to resume negotiations with India for the long-pending $1.3 billion deal to acquire 12 US-2i amphibious aircraft manufactured by Japanese defence conglomerate ShinMaywa Industries.

The talks began after the former Shinzo Abe government of Japan lifted a ban on Japanese exports of arms. ShinMaywa had even offered to manufacture the planes in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme.

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