Five Rafale jets safely land at Ambala Air Force station
India had bought 36 fighter planes from Dassault Rafale for an estimated Rs 58,000 crore, through an inter-governmental agreement signed in 2016.
More than four years after it inked the deal to acquire Rafale jets, the first batch of five Rafale combat jets have safely at the IAF Air Force Station in Ambala. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s office said the Rafales were escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs after they entered the Indian air space.
The fleet stopped at Al Dhafra airbase on Monday in the UAE after flying for over seven hours from the Merignac airbase in France. It was the only stopover by the jets while flying from France to India. The five fighter aircraft, being flown by Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots, will arrive here after covering a distance of 7,000 km with refulling mid-air from a French tanker at a height of 30,000 feet.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will receive the fleet at Ambala and the aircrafts will be officially inducted into the IAF in the second half of August.
Security has been amped up around the air force station by the police, on the request of the IAF to prevent any photography and videography of the arrival of the aircraft. Even Section 144 has also been imposed in four villages close to the Ambala airbase.
India had bought 36 fighter planes from Dassault Rafale for an estimated Rs 58,000 crore, through an inter-governmental agreement signed in 2016. The Rafale jets are India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in over two decades, and they are expected to boost the Indian Air Force's combat capabilities.
(With agency inputs)