In a historic moment for the defense relations between India and Saudi Arabia, eight aircraft of the Indian Air Force have landed at the airbase of the Royal Saudi Air Force. This is the first time that Indian fighter jets have landed on Saudi Arabian soil, marking a significant milestone for the strengthening ties between the two nations.
On February 26, the Indian Air Force planes landed at the Saudi Arabian air force base, where they were refueled and underwent maintenance checks. The stopover was described as ‘friendly’ and the planes stayed overnight before departing the following morning. The eight aircraft included five Mirage 2000 fighter jets, two C-17 transport aircraft, and an IL-78 tanker, along with 145 air warriors.
Traditionally, Saudi Arabia has been closer to Pakistan in terms of defense, leading to reduced defense relations with India. However, given the current strategic conditions, Saudi Arabia is rapidly strengthening its ties with India. The Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Suhail Ajaz Khan, and Defense Attache Col GS Grewal met with the Indian Air Warriors during their visit to Saudi Arabia, highlighting the growing relations between the two nations.
The Indian Air Force team had left on February 27 to participate in the Cobra Warriors 23 exercise to be held in Britain. This visit to Saudi Arabia marks a significant milestone in the defense relations between India and Saudi Arabia and is a positive step towards strengthening their ties further.