The fourth batch of three Indian Air Force (IAF ) Rafale fighter jets landed on Indian soil late on the night of Wednesday, 31 March, after a direct ferry from Istres Air Base France.
The jets were refuelled mid-air, en route to India, by United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The IAF took to Twitter on Wednesday night, to share visuals of the jets and thank the UAE for “yet another milestone in the strong relationship between the two Air Forces”
The Indian Embassy of France had earlier on Wednesday taken to Twitter to inform that the jets had taken off.
Entire Rafale Fleet to Be Delivered by April 2022
- The Ambassador of France to India Emmanuel Lenain had said on Tuesday that five extra Rafale jets, apart from the three arriving on Wednesday, will be sent to India by the end of April.
- On 8 February, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had informed the Rajya Sabha that 11 aircrafts had arrived in India while the entire sanctioned batch of the aircraft will be inducted into the Indian Air Force by April 2022.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, the second batch of three Rafale combat aircraft arrived in India on 4 November 2020. On 27 January 2021, three Rafale combat aircrafts arrived in India after flying non-stop from France.
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.
(With inputs from ANI.)