NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force (IAF) will receive the second batch of Rafale battle aircraft — likely to be three in number is all set to arrive at its Ambala air base on November 4. As per reports, the three Rafale planes will land 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.
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.
Known as the 4.5 generation aircraft, the Rafale is considered to be one of the finest fighters in the world and is described as an ‘omnirole’ aircraft that can take up several missions on a single flight.
Earlier, Five Rafale jets, including two twin-seaters, had landed on 29 July at the Ambala Air Force Station, home of the first squadron of the French fighters. They had flown 8,500 km from Merignac in France, with a stopover in UAE.
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.