SOURCE: TIMES NOW
Just two months after India received its first batch of the highly-potent Rafale fighter jets from France, the Indian Air Force is set to receive its second tranche of the combat aircraft in November, reports have claimed. The IAF is preparing to welcome the second lot of the combat aircraft manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation by November.
The force has already dispatched a team of experts, led by the Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Projects), to handle and coordinate the logistical matters. The pilots are also being trained in batches at France’s Saint-Dizier air base.
The IAF received its first batch of five Rafale jets on July 29 which were then officially handed over and inducted to the 17 Squadron at the Ambala Air Base in Punjab on September 10.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft for Rs 59,000 crores.
Following the induction of the first batch, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had called the high-profile Rafale deal “a game-changer”.
“I am confident that our air force has acquired a technological edge with Rafale,” the Defence Minister had said.
Rafale jets are 4.5-generation aircraft that come with latest weapons, state-of the-art sensors and fully-integrated architecture. The machine is an omni-role aircraft, which basically means that it can carry out a minimum of four missions in just one sortie.
The fighter jets also come with HAMMER missiles, and will be armed with beyond-visual-range missiles such as Meteor, SCALP and MICA, thereby increasing their capability to take on incoming targets from a good distance.