Three more Rafale Aircrafts landed in India on Wednesday, joining the first five that arrived in July, earlier this year. By Tanvi Jain
The second batch of three Rafale aircraft got airborne from Istres airbase in France and flew for over eight hours before landing at an IAF base. They covered a distance of over 3700 nautical miles with three in-flight refuellings. pic.twitter.com/gHEixnMh2B
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) November 4, 2020
The second batch of Rafale fighter jets from France landed in India on November 5, at the Jamnagar airbase in Gujarat, hence joining five others that had arrived at the Ambala Airbase earlier on July 29 this year.
“The second batch of three Rafale aircraft got airborne from Istres airbase in France and flew for over eight hours before landing at an IAF base. They covered a distance of over 3,700 nautical miles with three in-flight refuellings. IAF deeply appreciates the tanker support extended by French Air Force for the direct ferry of the second batch of IAF Rafales,” Indian Air Force said in a tweet.
“Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated Indian Air Force for successfully accomplishing a highly complex mission in a professional and safe manner,” All India Radio reported.
Another flight in ????????-???????? strategic partnership:
Next batch of #Rafale jets landed safely in India after non stop flight from France with multiple mid air refueling.@PMOIndia @narendramodi @JawedAshraf5 @IAF_MCC @PIB_India @DrSJaishankar @harshvshringla @DDNewslive pic.twitter.com/nK3uSvp5oK
— India in France (@Indian_Embassy) November 4, 2020
While the first batch comprised of five Rafale fighter jets, this one had three. According to the September 2016 deal with France, a total of 36 jets needed to be delivered, and for that, at least three to four Rafale jets are supposed to reach India, every two to three months.
The first batch has already performed ‘familiarisation sorties’ in Ladakh. The 4.5 generation Rafales armed with weapons such as over 300-kilometre range Scalp air to ground cruise missiles, can manage to cover approximately 780 kilometres to 1,650 kilometres without mid-air refuelling.
The IAF pilots brought home the second batch of three Rafale aircraft today after flying non-stop from France in a ferry that lasted for over 8 hours.
— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) November 4, 2020
As reported by the Times Of India, “IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria had earlier declared that the twin-engine Rafales will intimidate and dominate whenever and wherever they are deployed.”
Sukhoi-30MKI, Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Apache attack helicopters, are some of the fighter jets that have been currently deployed by the IAF in adequate numbers in Ladakh and along the LAC, and if required, Rafale will also be deployed. Meanwhile, airbases at Hashimara and Ambala hold the capacity to house as many as 18 Rafales.