The first installment of the total batch of 36 Rafael French aircrafts has started its journey to India. To be fuelled only midair, the fleet of five aircrafts will cover a distance of 7000kms, to reach Ambala, Haryana. The delivery will start from Merignac airbase in southern France’s Bordeaux to join the Indian Air Force fleet in Haryana.
Built by the French aviation firm Dassault, the five aircrafts being delivered had earlier been kept back in France for as a part of a training programme for the Indian Air Force pilots and technicians. As of now, ten of such pilots are well trained to fly the Rafael planes.
“Beauty and the Beast”- #Rafale Fighter Aircraft. Ready to take off @MEAIndia @JawedAshraf5 @gouvernementFR @Dassault_OnAir @rajnathsingh @DefenceMinIndia @DDNewslive @ANI @DrSJaishankar @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/TTAi6DHun7— India in France (@Indian_Embassy) July 27, 2020
The planes are top end technology, something that
could have lead a lot less collateral damage to India in the Kargil war. The
plane fleet comprises three single and two double seater capacity. The Rafale
weapons package outguns all other weapons systems in the region and will give
India the ability to engage Pakistani jets from a distance without being
Post a verdict passed by the Supreme Court, the deal that was signed between the Narendra Modi government and France in 2016, was given a go ahead in November 2019. According to the deal, India would receive a contingent of 36 aircrafts, for 7.87 billion euro. Deal included over 3 billion euros of work for the Indian industry over the next 7-8 years. India is now scheduled to get 28 single seater jets and 8 twin seaters for training. The delivery is going to be complete by September 2021.
Due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, the delivery of the first five aircrafts was delayed by two months, pushing back training schedules for the pilots. But the deliveries have now started and would bring back India’s defense capability to the top.
Apart from its state-of-the-art missile capabilities, it also comes equipped with various India-specific modifications, including Israeli helmet-mounted displays, radar warning receivers, low-band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, infra-red search and tracking systems among others.
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