In photos: The first batch of 5 Rafale takes off from France for India: The Tribune India


New Delhi, July 27

On Monday, the first batch of five Rafale jets took off from France for India, officials said.

The multi-purpose fighter is expected to arrive at the Ambala air force station on Wednesday, nearly four years after India signed an intergovernmental agreement with France to supply 36 Rafale jets to the military Indian Air Force in Rs.59,000 crore deal

The fleet is expected to dramatically increase the IAF’s combat capabilities at a time when India is stranded in a tense border line with China in eastern Ladakh.

Indian Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf interacted with the IAF pilots before they took off from France.

“Have a good trip: the Indian ambassador in #France interacts with the Indian pilots of the Rafale. Congratulate and wish them a safe flight to India with just one hop, ”tweeted the Indian Embassy in Paris.

The first Rafale jet squadron will be stationed at Ambala air base.

The five Rafales are expected to be inducted into the IAF on Wednesday afternoon. However, an IAF spokesperson said an official induction ceremony will be held in mid-August.

Official sources said Rafale jets would likely be deployed in the Ladakh sector as part of the IAF’s efforts to strengthen its operational capabilities along the Real Line of Control (LAC) with China due to the border. with the country.

The aircraft is capable of carrying a range of powerful weapons. The Meteor air-to-air missile beyond the visual range of European missile maker MBDA and the Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the Rafale jet weapon package.

Meteor is the next generation of BVR (BVRAAM) air-to-air missiles designed to revolutionize air-to-air combat. The weapon was developed by MBDA to combat common threats facing the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Sweden.

The Meteor is powered by a unique rocket-ramjet engine that gives it much more engine power for much longer than any other missile, an official said.

In addition to the missile systems, the Rafale jets will come with various India-specific modifications, including screens mounted on an Israeli helmet, radar warning receivers, low-band jammers, flight data recording of 10 hours, infrared search and tracking systems, among others. .

The IAF has already completed preparations, including preparing the necessary infrastructure and training pilots, to host the fighter aircraft.

Rafale’s second squadron will be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal. The IAF spent around Rs 400 crore to develop the required infrastructure such as shelters, hangars and maintenance facilities at the two bases.

Of the 36 Rafale jets, 30 will be fighter jets and six will be trainers. The training jets will be two-seater and will have almost all the characteristics of combat aircraft. PTI


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