The two squadrons of Rafale jets will add wings to the IAF’s depleting fleet strength
An addition of 3 more Rafale Combat aircrafts were made after they landed in Jamnagar, India on Wednesday night. As per an Indian Air Force (IAF) Official, these were the fourth batch aircrafts and they flew non-stop from Istres Air Base in France. After this landing, there is a total 14 jets that have arrived in India out of the 36 that are ordered.
“The three Rafale aircraft landed at an Indian Air Force base a short while ago. They flew over 7,000 km with in-flight refuelling. The aircraft got airborne earlier in the day from Istres Air Base in France,” the Indian Air Force official said.
The IAF also thanked the UAE air force for refuelling the Rafale jets, describing it as yet another milestone in the strong relationship between the two air forces.
Another batch of #Rafale take to the skies on non stop flight to India with mid air refueling by UAE. Indian Air power grows further!!#India #France #InFra— India in France (@Indian_Embassy) March 31, 2021
🇮🇳🤝🇫🇷@JawedAshraf5 @DrSJaishankar @harshvshringla @MEAIndia @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/TyrYaNBQVG
“Second Rafale Squadron is being raised at the next Main Operating Base (MOB) Hasimara in mid-April this year,” an Indian Air Force official had stated.
It is a strategic base for Air Force operations because of its proximity to Bhutan and to counter threats from China.
The Chumbi Valley where the tri-junction lies between India-Bhutan and China is close to Doklam where a standoff took place in 2017. The tri-junction has been matter of concern for all the three nations.
The two squadrons of Rafale will add wings to the IAF’s depleting fleet strength.
India had inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore.
Manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation, the aircraft is a 4.5 generation model and has the latest weapons, superior sensors and a fully integrated architecture. It has the capacity to carry out at least four missions in one sortie.
The fighter aircraft have HAMMER missiles. It will also be armed with beyond visual range missiles like Meteor, SCALP and MICA, increasing their ability to take on incoming targets from a distance.
The remaining aircrafts are likely to land in India by April 22.
Edited By: Radhika Udas, with agency inputs