The second batch of three Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale fighter aircraft arrived in India on Nov. 4 after flying non-stop from France, the service announced.
The three Dassault Rafale jets arrived at Jamnagar Air Force Station in Gujrat at 8:14 pm local time. The jets are expected to fly to its homebase of Ambala AFS in Haryana tommorow.
Second batch of IAF #Rafale aircraft arrived in India at 8:14 pm on 04 Nov 20 after flying non-stop from France.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) November 4, 2020
According to the IAF, the jets took over 8 hours to reach directly from France, showcasing the long-range operational capability of the Air Force”. The service added that the jets conducted three air-to-air refueling operation en route to India.
The first five IAF Rafale aircraft arrived at Air Force Station Ambala in the state of Haryana on July 27. The IAF formally inducted its new Rafale fighter aircraft during a ceremony at AFS Ambala on Sept 10 and the aircraft is now operated by the IAF’s No. 17 Squadron, nicknamed the “Golden Arrows”.
IAF Rafale Procurement:
In 2016, India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly-away condition for $8.8 billion. Out of the 36 Rafales ordered for the IAF, 28 are single-seat jets, designated Rafale EH, and the remaining are dual-seat jets, designated Rafale DH.
The Air Force “technically” accepted the first Rafale, twin-seat version of the jet, during a ceremony in Bordeaux on Sept. 19. The aircraft, with tail number RB-001, was accepted by a team led by IAF Deputy Chief Air Marshal VR Chaudhari. RB in the tail number marks the role played by Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria in finalizing the deal to procure the jets in September 2016.
The Indian Air Force formally received its first Rafale aircraft during a ceremony at Dassault Aviation’s Rafale final assembly facility in Mérignac in Bordeaux, France on Oct. 8 last year. This ceremony was attended by the French Minister for Armed Forces Florence Parly and the Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
As of now, the delivery of ten Rafale aircraft has been completed on schedule. The delivery of all 36 aircraft is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
In accordance with the contract, IAF pilots and supporting personnel have been provided full training on aircraft and weapon systems by Dassault. Further batches of IAF personnel will continue the training over the next few months.