- Rafale Jets took off from France on the 27th of July
- The jets have reached the Ambala airbase
- Rafale Jets are the latest generation of fighter jets in the world
A historic moment for the Indian Air Force as the first batch of 5 Rafale Fighter Jets from France has arrived at the Ambala airbase of the Indian Air Force after covering a distance of 7,000 kilometres.
These top of the line fighter jets will be a part of the No 17 Squadron of the India Air Force which is also known as the “Golden Arrows”.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “The Birds have landed safely in Ambala. The touch down of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History. These multirole aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the @IAF_MCC”.
The Birds have landed safely in Ambala.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 29, 2020
The touch down of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History.
These multirole aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the @IAF_MCC.
Watch the touchdown of Rafale Fighter Jets at Ambala:
The Touchdown of Rafale at Ambala. pic.twitter.com/e3OFQa1bZY— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 29, 2020
WATCH: The touchdown of Rafale at Ambala
Water salute will be given to the five Rafale fighter aircraft at Ambala airbase in Haryana.
According to a report, “These fighter aircraft are flown by pilots of the 17 Golden Arrows led by Commanding Officer Group Captain Harkirat Singh along with other pilots, Wing Commanders MK Singh, R Kataria, Sidhu and Arun. Harkirat Singh is also likely to be the first pilot to touchdown at the base in Ambala.”
These much awaited Rafale Jets which took off from France on the 27th of July are amongst the first batch of fighter jets for which around 4 years ago India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France. As per the agreement, a total of 36 Rafale fighter jets were purchased for Rs. 59,000 crore to boost the IAF’s combat capabilities.
The fleet first took a halt at the Al Dhafra airbase in the UAE after flying from the Merignac airbase. It was the only layover made by the 5 jets between their journey from France to India. In between, they were also re-fuelled mid-air by a French tanker at a height of 30,000 feet.
The 5 Rafale fighter jets which have landed at Ambala today includes 2 twin seater trainer aircraft and 3 single seater fighter aircraft. Besides Ambala, the second batch of Rafales will be stationed at the Hashimara Air Force station in West Bengal.
Deliveries of the aircraft are expected to be completed by late 2021.
The Rafale fighter jets are capable of carrying a range of weapons which includes Meteor air-to-air missiles and SCALP cruise missiles as well.
Apart from the missile systems, these jets will come with several custom modifications requested by India which will the include Israeli helmet-mounted display, radar warning receivers, 10-hours fight data recording, low-band jammers, infrared search and tracking systems just to name a few.