A fourth batch of 3 Rafale fighter jets arrives in India from France

A fourth batch of 3 Rafale fighter jets arrives in India from France


oi-Deepika S


New Delhi, 31 mars: In a major boost to the firepower of the Indian Air Force, the fourth batch of 3 Rafale fighter jets arrived in India from France on Wednesday. The jets were refueled in flight by planes from the United Arab Emirates.

Representative image

“The fourth batch of three IAF Rafales landed on Indian soil after a direct ferry from Istres air base in France. The Rafales were refueled in flight by UAE Air Force refuellers. This marks another important step in the close relationship between the two air forces ”. Indian Air Force said in a statement.

The first batch of five Rafale planes arrived in India on July 29, nearly four years after India signed an intergovernmental agreement with France to purchase 36 of the planes at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.

The official fleet induction ceremony took place in Ambala on September 10.

A second batch of three Rafale aircraft arrived in India on November 3 while a third batch of three more jets joined the IAF on January 27.

The first Rafale squadron is based at the Ambala air force station.

The Indian Air Force is expected to lift the second squadron of Rafale fighter jets in mid-April and it will be based at Hasimara Air Base in West Bengal, military officials said.

India is expected to receive more Rafale aircraft from France in the coming months.

The Rafale jets, manufactured by French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, are India’s first major acquisition of fighter jets in 23 years after the importation of Sukhoi jets from Russia.

Rafale jets are capable of carrying a range of powerful weapons. The Meteor air-to-air missile beyond the visual range of European missile maker MBDA, the Scalp cruise missile and the MICA weapons system will be the mainstay of the Rafale aircraft weapons package.


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