LAST UPDATED: March 30, 2021, 1:13 p.m.
New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to get a massive boost as 10 more Rafale fighter aircraft are scheduled to arrive soon.
According to sources, three Rafale fighter jets will reach India in the first week of April. India had signed a deal for 36 Rafale fighter planes with France, out of which 11 have already reached India.
The Rafale fighter planes which have reached India are part of the Golden Arrow Squadron based at Ambala. Another 10 Rafale aircraft are to come, they will be stationed at Hashimara in West Bengal.
With this, now the number of Rafale aircraft in the IAF will rise to 21. Three Rafale fighter jets will arrive in India in the next two to three days, flying directly from France.
After that, we will get 7-8 fighter jets in the second half of next month.
“This will greatly boost our ability to fulfill our missions,” senior government sources told ANI.
The Rafale aircraft were inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in July–August last year.
The Rafale aircraft was also deployed to patrol eastern Ladakh and other fronts along the Chinese border. After arriving in the country from France, the Rafale aircraft will be stationed at Ambala and some of them will later be sent to Hashimara, where the process of starting a second squadron has already started.
India ordered 36 fighter jets from France in September 2016 and by the end of April, more than 50 percent of these Rafale fighter aircraft have arrived in India. India is now going to place orders for 114 multirole fighter jets of indigenously developed Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, whose seven squadrons will join the Air Force over the next 15–20 years.
The second set of Rafale fighter jets reached India in November, after the aircraft were formally inducted in September. Twin-engine Rafale jets are capable of carrying out a variety of missions including ground and sea attack, air defense and air superiority, reconnaissance and nuclear strike.
Rafael, carrying long-range airborne missiles, has given an edge over the Chinese and Pakistani rivals of Indian aircraft. Aircraft equipped with Hammer missiles have enhanced their ability to carry out airstrikes like Balakot.