New Delhi: On Monday, The first batch of five out of 36 Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale fighter jets, which include three single – seater and two twin – seater aircrafts, flew from Dassault Aviation Facility, Merignac in France.
The shipment of the aircraft is planned in two stages and will be undertaken by the trained pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The Air to Air Refueling planned midst the first stage of the shipment will be initiated by these pilots with sworn tanker support from the French Air Force.
The aircrafts are expected to arrive at the Air Force Station in Ambala on July 29th depending upon the weather and the final inaugural ceremony will take place in August. No. 17 Squadron, i.e., Golden Arrows, is being fostered at this base armed with Rafale aircraft.
“Delivery of ten aircraft has been completed on schedule. Five will stay back in France for training Mission. The delivery of all thirty six aircraft will be completed on schedule by the end of 2021,” the Indian embassy in France said in a statement.
Earlier, in 2016, India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets worth RS. 58,000 Crore.