People would do bhangra for Rafale jets if there was no COVID, says Anil Vij
New Delhi, July 29: Ahead of the five Rafale jets landing at Ambala airbase on Wednesday, Haryana Minister Anil Vij said, "Today, history is being created. The people of Ambala are awaiting the arrival of Rafale fighter jets."
Vij added, "If there was no COVID-19, the people here would have done 'bhangra' and played the 'dhol' to welcome the fighter jets."
The Rafale jets are India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in over two decades, and they are expected to significantly boost the Indian Air Force's combat capabilities.
The fleet landed at Al Dhafra airbase on Monday in the UAE after flying for over seven hours from the Merignac airbase. It was the only stopover by the jets while flying from France to India. The jets were also refuelled mid-air from a French tanker at a height of 30,000 feet.
India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in over two decades, the Rs 59,000-crore deal was signed on September 23, 2016, for 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.
The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base and is able to carry out all combat aviation missions: air superiority and air defence, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
The Rafale aircraft will cover a distance of nearly 7,000 kms from France to India. The Indian Air Force pilots and supporting personnel have been provided full training on aircraft and weapon systems by Dassault.