The first batch of five Rafale jets flew out of France a few hours before and will arrive in India on Wednesday. The fighter jets will officially be inducted and join the Indian Air Force fleet in Haryana’s Ambala on July 29th. The fighter jets, built by French aviation firm Dassault, took off from the Merignac air base in southern France’s Bordeaux .
The five aircraft will be the first tranche of the 36 planes bought by India from France in a 59,000-crore rupees inter-governmental deal in 2016. The Rafale aircraft will cover a distance of nearly 7,000 km from France to India with air-to-air refuelling and a single stop at a French airbase in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Indian Embassy in France in a statement said, Delivery of ten aircraft has been completed on schedule but Five will stay back in France for training Mission. The delivery of all thirty six aircraft will be completed on schedule by the end of 2021. Delivery of ten Rafale aircrafts have been completed on schedule. Five rafales will stay back in France for a training mission. First Rafale fighter jet was handed over to India in October 2019.
The Rafale fighter jets are capable of carrying a range of highly effective weapons, including the Keter air to air missile and scalp cruise missile. The Rafale jets will come with various India specific modifications, including Israeli helmet mounted displays, radar warning receivers, low band jammers and 10 hour flight data recording. The Air Force has readied the required infrastructure to welcome the jets in its line up.