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3 more Rafale jets reach India from France, UAE assists mid-air refuelling



Ajeyo Basu

LAST UPDATED: Jan. 28, 2021, 11:38 a.m.

Prashant Dev, New Delhi: Three more Rafale warplanes arrived in India today from France amidst the ongoing deadlock between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China in Ladakh. 

After the arrival of 3 new Rafale planes, now the number of these aircraft in the country has increased to 11. The first consignment of 5 Rafale fighter jets reached India on July 29, 2020. After this, the second consignment of Rafale aircraft arrived on November 3, 2020. This is the third consignment of Rafale planes.

“The third batch of three Rafale aircraft landed at an IAF base a short while ago. They flew over 7000Km with in-flight refueling. The aircraft got airborne earlier in the day from #IstresAirBase in France. IAF deeply appreciates the tanker support provided by UAE Air Force,” the Indian Air Force (IAF) tweeted.

The UAE tanker assisted in refueling of the 3 Rafale aircraft in the air.

The arrival of the Rafale aircraft will increase the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) firepower at a time when there is a fierce border dispute between India and China in eastern Ladakh. The Rafale aircraft is manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation. India has made major purchases of fighter jets after nearly 23 years. Earlier, India imported Sukhoi jet from Russia.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had bought 36 Rafale aircraft from France in September 2016 for Rs 59 thousand crores. After the arrival of three new aircraft, the number of Rafale aircraft with India has increased to 11.

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