The fifth batch of Rafale fighter jets arrived in India on Wednesday, 21 April, from a military airbase in France.
The fighter jets flew a distance of almost 8,000 km non-stop with air-to-air refuelling support by France and UAE's Air Force.
"After a direct ferry from #MerignacAirBase, France, the 5th batch of Rafales arrived in India on 21 April. The fighters flew a distance of almost 8,000Kms with air-to-air refuelling support by @Armee_de_lair (France Air Force) and UAE AF. IAF thanks both the Air Forces for their co-operation," the Indian Air Force (IAF) tweeted.
The fourth batch of three Rafale fighter jets landed on Indian soil on 31 March, after a direct ferry from Istres Air Base France.
On 29 July 2020, India received its first batch of five Rafale jets from France after signing an inter-government agreement to procure 36 aircrafts at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore. The second batch of three Rafale combat aircraft arrived in India on 4 November 2020. the next lot arrived on 27 January 2021.
The Rafale combat aircraft is manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation. It 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 jet has HAMMER missiles. It will also be armed with beyond-visual range missiles, like Meteor, SCALP and MICA, increasing its ability to take on incoming targets from a distance.