Rafale replica put up outside IAF chief's home opposite Congress headquarters
New Delhi, May 31: In an interesting development, a replica of the Rafale fighter jet has been erected outside the official residence of India Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa in Lutyens Delhi, which is just opposite the Congress headquarters.
Earlier, a model of the Sukhoi Su-30 was set up at the same place before being removed a few months ago.
The deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets has got the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress at loggerheads.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not being truthful about the deal, demanding the government reveal the price it paid for the aircraft. The government has countered, saying making the details public would compromise national security.
The first Rafale jet expected to be handed over to the Indian Air Force in September this year but it would be required to undergo intensive 1,500 hours of testing to validate the India-specific enhancements on it. So the first batch of the four planes is likely to arrive at Ambala around May 2020.
The Rafale is a nuclear capable aircraft and an attempt to glean some of the technical specifications of the India-specific aircraft could seriously compromise its operations once inducted.