New batch of Rafale fighter jets to join Indian Air Force in November

Dassault Rafale
File Photo of Dassault Rafale

New Delhi: The newly acquired Rafale fighter jets of India will be put to test as as the second batch of the planes will be joining the Indian Airforce fleet. 3-4 Rafale fighter jets will be arriving at the Ambala base in Haryana by the first week of November. The new additions are expected to boost the offensive capabilities of the Indian Air Force.

The new additions will be the second batch of jets that will be employed to serve the Indian forces. The first batch had arrived amid pompous ceremonies on 28 July. Officially, they were inducted on 10 September.

An ANI report cites governement sources saying, “The second batch of 3-4 Rafale fighter jets would be arriving in India by first week of November from France and preparations are on for their arrival in the country.”

“With the induction of these aircraft, the IAF would have 8-9 fighter aircraft which will be operationalised within a few days in view of the ongoing situation,” they said.

Within a short time, since the Rafale fighters have been operationalised in the Indian forces, they have been deployed in the current conflict zone of Ladakh.

As part of an annual meeting, an IAF team headed by Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Projects) Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari is in France for reviewing the project. Indin pilots are expexted to train there till March 2021.

One squadron each of the new Rafale will be deployed by the Indian Air Force at its airbases in Ambala in Haryana and Hashimara in West Bengal.

In September of 2016, India signed a deal with the French government and Dassault Aviation to acquire 36 Rafale fighter jets for over 7.8 billion euros to arrest the fall of combat squadrons and meet urgent requirements on the eastern and western fronts.

The first five fighter aircraft were inducted in Ambala in presence of the French Defence Minister Florence Parry and Indian Chief Of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat along with the IAF Chief RKS Bhadauria.

With inputs from ANI