Six member IAF team heads for France for Rafale training
New Delhi, Sep 12: Amid a raging controversy over the purchase of Rafale fighter jets, a six-member team from the Indian Air Force (IAF) has left for France to train on Dassault manufactured fighters.
The team comprises of a fighter pilot, an engineer, and four technicians who will receive instruction on the Rafale fighters over the next few months at the Saint Dizier-Robinson Air Base in eastern France, reported Jane's Defence Weekly.
It was reported last week that three Rafale fighter jets were engaged in a training exercise with the Indian Air Force in Gwalior and Agra.
Around 100 French aviators, one Atlas A-400M military transport aircraft, one C-135 refuelling plane and an Airbus A310 cargo aircraft had also come to India along with the Rafale jets on a four-day visit. A PTI report said a batch of IAF pilots got an opportunity to train on the Rafale jets.
Several IAF personnel have been visiting France regularly over the past few months to assist Dassault and French Air Force pilots in jointly test-flying a Rafale fitted with 'India-specific customisations'
India had inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore. The delivery of the jets is scheduled to begin from September 2019.