The first batch of five Rafale fighter jets tyhat took off from France on Monday landed at the IAF Air Force Station in Ambala on Wednesday, July 29. Indian Air Force chief Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria received the fighter jets at the air base.
The French manufactured Rafale multi-role combat jets landed in India, covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km with air-to-air refuelling and a single stop in the United Arab Emirates.
The aircraft is to be officially inducted into Force in the second half of August. The fleet, that comprises of three single-seater and two twin-seater aircraft, will be part of the No 17 Squadron of the Air Force, also known as the ”Golden Arrows’.
Soon after the jets landed in the Indian soil, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that the birds had landed in Ambala safely. In another tweet, he said that Rafael will revolutionalise the capability of the Air Force.
Meanwhile, a security blanket has been thrown around the air force station to prevent any photography and videography of the arrival of the aircraft. Further, section 144 has also been imposed in four villages close to the Ambala airbase.
This is the first batch of the 36 fighters from Dassault Rafale for an estimated cost of Rs 58,000 crore.