Watch Rafale fighter jets being refuelled mid-air on their way to Ambala from France
New Delhi, Jul 28 : The first batch of five Rafale fighter jets tore into the skies over France with sonic boom on Monday to begin their 7000 kms flight to India. The aircraft were seen being refuelled mid-air while they were on their way to Ambala from France.
The aircraft flew out from the airbase in the French port city of Bordeaux and will cover a distance of nearly 7,000 km with air-to-air refuelling and a single stop in the United Arab Emirates before arriving at Ambala airbase on Wednesday, officials said.
The three single-seat and two twin-seat omni-role fighters, flown by seven IAF pilots led by commanding officer Group Captain Harkirat Singh, will touch down in Ambala to launch the 17 Golden Arrows' squadron on Wednesday.
Indian Air Force appreciates the support provided by French Air Force for our Rafale journey back home. @Armee_de_lair @Indian_Embassy @Dassault_OnAir #Rafale#IndianAirForce pic.twitter.com/7Ec8oqOJmr— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) July 28, 2020
The Rafale aircraft will cover a distance of nearly 7000 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.
The aircraft are expected to significantly boost the Indian Air Force''s combat capabilities at a time India is locked in a tense border row with China in eastern Ladakh.
India had signed 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.
An official statement said the delivery of 10 aircraft has been completed on schedule and five will stay back in France for training missions. It said the delivery of all 36 aircraft will be completed by the end of 2021.
The first Rafale jet was handed over to the IAF in October last year during a visit to France by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.