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Tuesday 28 January 2020

IAF rejects claim by Pakistani media PAF pilots flew Rafale

A Pakistani newspaper claimed that PAF pilots were given access to and training of Rafale in France; the IAF has rubbished the claim

New Delhi: Pakistan is busy spreading another lie against India, aided by Pakistani media. A newspaper based in Islamabad has said that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) pilots have already flown the Rafale aircraft that India is buying from France. The report claims that Pakistani pilots were trained to fly Rafale in France. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has termed this claim by the Pakistani newspaper as baseless.

The newspaper report stated that pilots of the PAF were given access to Rafale in France and that these pilots were trained to fly the aircraft.

India entered into an agreement with France to purchase billions of dollars worth Rafale fighter aircraft and Dassault Aviation. Under this government-to-government agreement, 36 Rafale aircraft are to be procured. The first of these Rafale aircraft was technically delivered to the IAF in France last week.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will fly to France next month to take charge of the aircraft on behalf of India formally. The IAF chief will accompany the defence minister to Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron has called it a big deal for France that India will be handed the first aircraft next month.

The strength of the IAF will increase in the coming days due to this addition. The IAF has decided to purchase 21 MiG-29 and 18 Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft from Russia, too. In addition, it will upgrade 272 fighter jets of the Sukhoi fleet. Not only this, the IAF is considering buying F-18 aircraft from American company Boeing.

If sources are to be believed, the IAF will deploy one Rafale fighter aircraft squadron in Ambala of Haryana and another at its airbase in Hashimara, West Bengal. While Ambala is closer to the Pakistan border, Hasimara is located strategically near the Indo-Bhutan border. It is the closest Indian airbase to the Chumbi Valley, the tri-junction between the Indian state of SikkimBhutan and Tibet.

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