WATCH: IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria takes sortie on Rafale aircraft
New Delhi, July 12: Indian Air Force (IAF) Vice Chief Air Marshal R K S Bhadauria took a sortie on Rafale aircraft at French Air Force's Mont de Marsan air base.
Bhadauria said that it was a very good experience and many lessons were learnt to take home. He said,''It was a very good experience, we'll have many lessons to take home in terms of how to best utilize Rafale once it is inducted into our Air Force, & how the combination can be with Su-30, another potent & important fleet in our Air Force.''
Bhadauria was the head of the Indian team that negotiated with France for the deal to acquire 36 Rafale jets in 2016.
An IAF contingent is currently in France for the joint exercise 'Garuda' with the French Air Force (FAF) to enhance interoperability and cooperation between the two Air Forces. India and France are strategic partners and have been enhancing their cooperation over the last many years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government had signed a deal for 36 Rafale fighters with France in the year 2016. The first squadron would be based in Ambala while the second one would go to Hashimara on the border with China.
''In terms of technology & weapons Rafale has brought in, it will again be a game changer for IAF from our planning perspective, point of view of offensive missions & planning the kind of war we want to conduct in the coming years,'' said Bhadauria.
Before taking the sortie, the Vice Chief Air Marshal practised on a Rafale simulator at the French Air Force's Mont de Marsan air base, which provided a realistic imitation of the controls and operation of Rafale aircraft.