Welcome home Golden Arrows! Formal induction ceremony of Rafale fighter jets next month
New Delhi, July 29: Nearly 23 years after Sukhoi aircraft were imported, a fleet of five French-manufactured Rafale multi-role combat jets touched down in India, giving the country's air power a strategic edge over its adversaries in the neighbourhood.
The aircraft, having an undisputed track record and considered one of the most potent combat jets globally, landed at the Ambala Air Force base after covering a distance of 7,000 km from the Merignac airbase in French port city of Bordeaux. The Rafales were escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs after they entered the Indian air space.
The formal induction ceremony of Rafale fighter jets into the Indian Air Force will happen next month, after Independence Day. IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said the fighters will be operationalised soonest.
Defence Minister Rajnath has confirmed that the five Rafales have landed at the Ambala airbase. He tweeted: "The Birds have landed safely in Ambala. The touch down of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History. These multirole aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the @IAF_MCC."
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria received the fleet at Ambala. 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.