India is set to receive another batch of Rafale fighter jets from France that will bolster the air power of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
“Another batch of Rafale takes to the skies on a nonstop flight to India with midair refueling by (the) UAE. Indian Air power grows further!!” the Indian Embassy in Paris tweeted. The embassy also posted a video of the jets taking off from an airbase.
On arrival in India, the three fighter jets will join the Golden Arrows Squadron in Ambala. The fresh induction will take the squadron’s strength to 14.
The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on 29 July last year, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore. The formal induction ceremony of the fleet had taken place in Ambala.
A second batch of three Rafale jets arrived in India on 3 November last year while a third batch of another three jets joined the IAF on 27 January.
India is expected to get more Rafale jets from France in the next couple of months. The next batch of nine Rafale fighter jets will be coming in April. Out of these, five will be inducted at Hashimara air base in West Bengal.
The twin-engine Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia. Considered among the world’s best, the jets have been built by French aviation firm Dassault.