The Indian Air Force (IAF) will receive the second batch of three Rafale combat aircraft at its Ambala airbase on November 4. According to reports, the three Rafale jets will arrive in India flying non-stop from France. The Rafale jets will fly directly from Istres in France to Jamnagar and they will be accompanied by French Air Force mid-air refuelling aircraft.
A team of experts led by Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Projects) is coordinating the logistical issues for receiving the three combat jets. The air force pilots are being trained in batches in France at Saint-Dizier airbase.
With the three coming on November 4, the IAF will have eight Rafale jets in service. India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of these aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
After the induction of the aircraft, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Rafale deal is a game changer. “I am confident our air force has acquired a technological edge with Rafale,” the minister had pointed out.
The Rafale is a 4.5 generation aircraft and has the latest weapons, superior sensors and fully integrated architecture.
It is an omni-role aircraft which means it can carry out at least four missions in one sortie.
The fighter aircraft has 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.