In photographs: First batch of 5 Rafale jets takes off from France for India

New Delhi, July 27

The first batch of 5 Rafale jets on Monday took off from France for India, officers stated.

The multi-role fighter plane are scheduled to reach at Ambala air power station on Wednesday, almost 4 years after India signed an inter-governmental settlement with France to acquire 36 Rafale jets for the Indian Air Force beneath a Rs 59,000-crore deal.

The fleet is predicted to considerably increase the IAF’s fight capabilities at a time when India is locked in a tense border row with China in japanese Ladakh.

Indian Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf interacted with IAF pilots earlier than they took off from France.

“Bon Voyage: Indian Ambassador to #France interacts with the Indian pilots of the Rafale. Congratulates and wishes them a safe flight to India with a single hop,” the Indian Embassy in Paris tweeted.

The first squadron of the Rafale jets can be stationed at Ambala air base.

The 5 Rafales are scheduled to be inducted into the IAF on Wednesday afternoon. However, an IAF spokesperson stated a proper induction ceremony can be held in mid-August.

Official sources stated the Rafale jets are more likely to be deployed within the Ladakh sector as a part of the IAF’s efforts to reinforce its operational capabilities alongside Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in view of the border row with the nation.

 The plane is able to carrying a variety of potent weapons. European missile maker MBDA’s Meteor past visible vary air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile would be the mainstay of the weapons bundle of the Rafale jets.

Meteor is the subsequent technology of BVR air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) designed to revolutionise air-to-air fight. The weapon has been developed by MBDA to fight frequent threats going through the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Sweden.

 The Meteor is powered by a singular rocket-ramjet motor that offers it way more engine energy for for much longer than every other missile, stated an official.

Besides the missile techniques, the Rafale jets will include numerous India-specific modifications, together with Israeli helmet-mounted shows, radar warning receivers, low-band jammers, 10-hour flight information recording, infra-red search and monitoring techniques, amongst others.

The IAF has already accomplished preparations, together with readying required infrastructure and coaching pilots, to welcome the fighter plane.

The second squadron of Rafale can be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal. The IAF spent round Rs 400 crore to develop the required infrastructure like shelters, hangars and upkeep services on the two bases.

Out of the 36 Rafale jets, 30 can be fighter jets and 6 can be trainers. The coach jets can be twin-seater and they’re going to have virtually all of the options of the fighter jets. PTI 



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