First batch of Rafale Jets from France to arrive in India on July 27!
Galatta | Jul 21, 2020, 05:39 pm
India had been floating the idea of inducting additional fighter jets into the Indian Air Force, since 2001! However, it was only since 2007 that the idea took shape and the process began. Most of India's IAF fleet consists of heavy and light-weight combat aircraft, so the idea was to bring in intermediate, medium-weight fighter jets! Proposals for the same were invited and the plan kicked off. The IAF's interest to include Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) was met with very high enthusiasm and many manufacturers expressed their interest in becoming suppliers! After a lot of scrutiny over the aircraft and the bids, the Rafale manufactured by Dassault, was chosen over the Lockheed Martin's F-16 (used by the Pakistan Air Force), Eurofighter's Typhoon, Russia's MiG-35 and Sweden's Saab Gripen!
After the deal with Dassault was signed for 36 Rafale Fighter Jets, the first was handed over to the Defense Minister Rajnath Singh in 2019 and flew a sortie in it, from a French airbase in Paris. India's deal with the French Government is for procuring 36 Rafale Fighter jets in flyaway condition and the first batch of this deal, having 5 aircraft, would be arriving in India on July 29th! Subject to weather conditions, the 5 jets would be inducted to the IAF at the Air Force Station in Ambala, on July 29th itself! A statement from the IAF states that the final induction ceremony of the Rafale jets would happen in the second half of August.
Latest reports suggest that these high-end MMRCA Rafale jets would be deployed in the Ladakh Sector on the Eastern Border, with China in view as there have been recent skirmishes between the armed forces of India and China, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in this region! This aircraft manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation, is expected to increase India's air supremacy and domination in this region and bolster the already formidable fleet of the IAF! Earlier, after India conducted the surgical air strikes in the Balakot region of Pakistan, against terrorists, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned that "having Rafale fighters would have delivered better results!" These surgical strikes were carried out to perfection, using a dozen of IAF's Mirage-2000 aircraft, which is also being manufactured by Dassault! A total of 36 Rafale jets, making up 2 squadrons, would become part of the IAF, over the course of the next two years!