New Delhi, Nov 4 | The second batch of three Rafale combat aircraft arrived in India at 8:14 pm on Wednesday after flying non-stop from France, the Indian Air Force said.
Rafale combat aircraft, manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation, flew directly from Istres in France to Jamnagar. They were accompanied by French Air Force mid-air refuelling aircraft.
A team of experts led by Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Projects) was coordinating the logistical issues for receiving three combat jets. The air force pilots are being trained in batches in France at Saint-Dizier air base.
With three more aircraft, the IAF will have eight Rafale jets in service.
India received the first batch of five Rafale aircraft on July 29 which were inducted on September 10 at Ambala Air Base to 17 ‘Golden Arrows’ Squadron.
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 aircrafts, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said 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.
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 have 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.