In a further boost to its fleet of fighter aircraft, the Indian Air Force is set to get three more Rafale fighter jets on Wednesday. They are going to land shortly in Gujarat’s Jamnagar after flying for over six hours from a French airbase earlier today.
The three new aircraft coming from France would take the Indian Rafale fleet to 29, giving India more options to deploy a significant number of these highly capable planes on both the northern borders and eastern frontier.
The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29, 2020.
The Rafale fighters are capable of defeating enemy air defence mechanisms and strike targets in the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Indian Air Force had formally inducted Rafale aircraft into No. 101 Squadron at Air Force Station Hasimara in Eastern Air Command (EAC) on July 28 this year. 101st is the second IAF Squadron to be equipped with Rafale aircraft.
India and France had signed an inter-governmental agreement in 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets at a cost Rs 59,000 crore.
The twin-engine Rafale jets are capable of carrying out a variety of missions, such as ground and sea attack, air defence and air superiority, reconnaissance, and nuclear strike deterrence.
The last batch of Rafale aircraft will land next year, which are to be the most capable of the entire lot.
India is now going to place orders for 114 multi-role fighter aircraft along with the indigenously developed stealth fighters Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft whose seven squadrons would join the Air Force in the next 15-20 years.