The Air Force tweeted on the evening of November 4, the second batch of Rafale jets, the first Western fighter jet to join the fleet after 23 years of Russia’s Sukhoi aircraft, has arrived in India. The aircraft covered a non-stop flight of 7,000-odd kilometers from France, the IAF said after the three jets landed.
India signed an intergovernmental agreement with France to buy 36 aircraft at a cost of ₹ 59,000 crores, The delivery came almost four years after.
All 36 jet’s induction will be completed by 2023, said Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria has stated. On July 29, the first batch of five jets arrived in India. At that time, the jet turned the mediator again and made a stopover at Al Dhafra airbase in the United Arab Emirates.
Around 3 pm, they landed at Ambala Airbase on a special water cannon salute. The Indian Air Force tweeted with a photo of Raffles in “Arrow formation” “Welcome home ‘Golden Arrows’. Blue skies always,”.
The IAF also tweeted an audio clip of Rafale’s fleet exchanging with a naval warship as it crossed the Indian Ocean.
The fleet, which consisted of three single-seater and twin-seater aircraft, was to be part of the Air Force’s No. 17 Squadron, also known as the ‘Golden Arrows‘.
The aircraft was the main focus of the Air Force’s 88th anniversary last month. The newly added convoy is also operating sorties in eastern Ladakh, where Indian and Chinese troops have been battling for months.