India ordered 36 Rafale jets from France in a deal worth Rs 59,000 crore(7,894,200,000 US Dollar) in September 2016 as an emergency procurement to secure the disturbing slide in the IAF’s combat skills.
When will it be arriving?
The first batch of five Rafale jets took off from France on Monday. It will be arriving in India on Wednesday when the much-awaited fighter jets will officially be initiated. And join the Indian Air Force fleet at the Ambala airbase in Haryana.
The Rafale aircraft will cover a distance of nearly 7000 km from France to India. which would include air-to-air refueling and a single stopover en route in Abu Dhabi UAE. The Indian Air Force pilots and helping faculty have been provided full training on aircraft and weapon systems by Dassault.
The Indian embassy in France said the event marked a “new milestone” in healthy and growing India-France defence cooperation. The embassy also released a short video titled “Beauty and the Beast”, showcasing Rafale jets ready for taking off.
why is it so important
Acting on a special request by the IAF, France has accelerated the deliveries of Rafale fighters to India. Five jets are coming instead of four that were initially planned to deliver in the first batch.
Indian ambassador Jawed Ashraf was there to see off the Rafale aircraft. He also met the Indian pilots and, congratulated them on becoming the first ones to fly the world’s most advanced and capable fighter aircraft and wished them success.
“These five Rafale jets are extremely swift, versatile and very deadly aircraft; they’re both beauty and beast. I want to thank Dassault for delivering aircraft on time and French Government and French Air Force for all the support,” said ambassador Ashraf.
France handed over to India its first Rafale fighter during a ceremony attended by defence minister Rajnath Singh. And his French counterpart, Florence Parly, in Merignac on Oct 8 last year.
The delivery of all 36 aircraft will complete by the end of 2021, said the Indian mission in France