India’s over four years of wait for the ‘ground-breaking’ Rafale fighter jets has come to an end. Finally, the game-changing Rafale jets have headed home.
The first batch of five Rafale jets took off from the Merignac airbase in southern France on Monday and will reach India on Wednesday.
The jets will be inducted into the Indian Airforce Fleet after they arrive at the Air Force Station Ambala in Haryana. However, the formal induction ceremony will be held in mid-August.
The fighter jets, which have to cover over 7,000 km from France to India, will halt at a French airbase in the UAE on Tuesday. After that, they will be accompanied by mid-air refueling aircraft of the French Air Force.
The first batch includes three twin-seat and two single-seat Rafales.
The ‘Superior’ Features and Capabilities of Rafale Jets
- The jets can be armed with deadly weapons, advanced avionics, radars, electronic warfare systems, and self-protection suits
- The jets can survive in hostile contested airspaces
- The jets are capable of firing over 300 km range Scalp air-to-ground cruise missiles and other weapons
- The jet’s weapon package contains European missile maker MBDA’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missiles and Scalp cruise missiles
- The jets can be equipped with MICA weapon system which is integrated into IAF’s Mirage 2000 aircraft
- The jets have a combat range of 780-km to 1,650-km
- The jets come with 13 India-specific enhancements including radar enhancements, low-band jammers, cold-start capability at high altitude regions, and Israeli helmet-mounted displays, infrared search and tracking systems, and 10-hour flight data recording
“These five Rafale jets are extremely swift, versatile and very deadly aircraft, they’re both beauty and beast. I would like to thank Dassault for delivering aircraft on time and French Government & French Air Force for all the support,” said Jawed Ashraf, Indian Ambassador to France.
As per the official sources, the Rafale jets are likely to be deployed in the Ladakh region in order to fortify the operational capabilities along the Line of Actual Control with China.
Earlier in September 2016, the Indian Government signed an agreement with the French Government for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at the cost of around Rs 59,000 crore.
“Delivery of ten aircraft has been completed on schedule. Five will stay back in France for training Mission. The delivery of all 36 aircraft will be completed on schedule by the end of 2021,” stated Indian Embassy in France.
The second batch of Rafale jets will be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal.
Among the 36 Rafale jets, 30 will be fighter jets, whereas the remaining six will be trainers. The fighter jets are single-seater while the trainer jets are twin-seater with almost the same features.
More Indian Government Articles:
- India Gets Its First Rafale Fighter Jet, All ‘36’ by Apr 2022
- Indian Allies Commit to Early Defense Supplies