“The five Rafales escorted by 02 SU30 MKI as they enter Indian airspace,” Rajnath Singh’s tweet read.
The five Rafale escorted by 02 SU30 MKI as they enter Indian airspace. @ IAF_MCC pic.twitter.com/djpt16OqVd
– Office of the Minister of Defense / RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) July 29, 2020
Previously, the jets had been hosted by the Indian Navy warship INS Kolkata.
INS Kolkata Delta63: Arrow leader (flying #Rafale), welcome to the Indian Ocean
Chief Rafale: Thank you very much. Most reassuring to have an Indian warship guarding the seas
INS Kolkata: May you touch the sky with glory. Happy landings
Chef du Rafale: I wish you good winds. Good hunt. More and more https://t.co/WlEyiZTtg5
– ANI (@ANI) July 29, 2020
Prior to their arrival, the areas around Ambala Air Base were subjected to scrutiny and Section 144 was imposed in some areas.
Read: Section 144 imposed near Ambala air base before the arrival of Rafale planes
To ensure maximum safety, residents of four villages in Ambala are asked not to click on the photos of the landing from their rooftops.
The five fighter jets refueled on their way home on Tuesday after their pit stop at Al Dhafra, the French air base in the United Arab Emirates. The Indian Air Force “appreciated the support” provided by the French Air Force for the transport of the jets, the agency reported.
The controversial Rafale aircraft purchase agreement finally saw the light of day on Monday as the first five took off from Mérignac air base in France. The IAF pilots were seen by Indian Ambassador Jawed Ashraf.
Also read: Everything you need to know about Rafale fighter jets
The jets will be inducted into the IAF as part of its No. 17 Squadron, also known as the “Golden Arrows”.
The five jets are part of 36 twin-engine planes purchased from Dassault Rafale for around Rs 59,000 crore in 2016.
The five-jet fleet includes three single-seater and two two-seater aircraft.
(With contributions from agencies)