In a major boost to the Indian Air Force (IAF) amid the ongoing tensions with China at the Line of Actual Control (LoAC), three more Rafale jets will reach India on 4 November. Interestingly, the fighter aircraft will take off from France and reach India without making a single stop.
The Rafale jets will fly from Istres in France on 4 November morning and reach Jamnagar in India by evening. The jets will be accompanied by French Air Force’s mid-air refuelling aircraft.
An expert team led by Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Projects) has been coordinating the logistical issues for receiving the fighter jets in France. IAF pilots who will fly the jets have been trained in batches at Saint-Dizier airbase in the European nation.
It should be noted that India already has five Rafale jets in service and induction of three more will significantly bolster India’s defence.
India received its first batch of five Rafale jets earlier this year in July and they were officially inducted in September.
These combat aircraft have been deployed in the conflict zone of Ladakh, where the Chinese army has been making provocative moves inside the Indian territory.
Key features of Rafale fighter aircraft
French giant Dassault Aviation manufactures the Rafale jets by. India has signed an inter-governmental deal with France to buy 36 of these jets at a cost of Rs 59,000.
The full consignment agreed upon will reach India by mid-2022.
It is a 4.5 generation jet and is laced with cutting-edge weapons, superior sensors and fully-integrated architecture. This fighter jet carries semi-stealth capabilities and can execute nuclear attacks.
The fighter aircraft has HAMMER missiles integrated into it. It is armed with beyond visual range missiles like Meteor, SCALP and MICA, increasing its ability to take on incoming targets from a distance.
Interestingly, it is an omni-role aircraft which means it can carry out at least four missions in one sortie.