coronavirus update indiaas on : 22 September 2020 06:08 GMT+5:30
First Batch Of"Beauty And Beast" 5 Rafale Jet Are Home At Ambala Air Base|Updates
The jets made a stopover in Al Dhafra in the UAE, where France has an airbase
First Batch Of"Beauty And Beast" 5 Rafale Jet Are Home At Ambala Air Base |Updates
New Delhi: The first five batches of the French Rafale fighter jets arrived at Haryana's Ambala this afternoon after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km to join the prestigious Indian Air Force.
"Welcome home 'Golden Arrows'. Blue skies always," the Indian Air Force tweeted with a photo of the Rafales in "Arrow formation", given a ceremonial welcome by SU-30s.
"Welcome to the Indian Ocean... May you touch the sky with glory," the Naval warship was heard telling a Rafale commander in audio.
The Touchdown of Rafale at Ambala. pic.twitter.com/e3OFQa1bZY— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 29, 2020
Air Staff Chief RKS Bhadauria is at the strategically key Ambala airbase to receive the jest. The security has tightened near the airbase, located around 200 km from the border with Pakistan and large gatherings have been banned in four villages nearby.
Also, there are restrictions on people gathering on rooftops and any filming or photography during the landing. Meanwhile, a local MLA has urged people to light the candles this evening.
"Our air force pilots tell us that these are extremely swift, nimble, versatile, and very deadly aircraft," said India's ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf, according to news agency AFP.
"This is going to add a great deal of strength to our airpower and defence preparedness but it is also a powerful symbol of our strategic partnership between France and India," he added.
India's first batch of Rafale fighter jets which is on their way to home was seen re-fuelling mid-air from the French Air Force tanker before their scheduled stopover at the Al-Dhafra airbase in the UAE in the photos posted by the Indian Air Force on the microblogging site.
From the French Air Force, they are accompanied by two A330 Phoenix refueling planes.
India in September 2016 ordered delivery of the Rafale jets 36 which officially began in October but the planes stayed in France for the training of the pilot and mechanics. The delivery should be completed by 2022.
In the controversial Rs 59,000 crore inter-governmental deal by the New Delhi, the five jets are the first batch purchases that hope to rapidly deploy the aircraft amid escalating tension between Indian and China.
The Indian Air Force has said that once the planes arrive in India, "efforts will focus on operationalization of the aircraft at the earliest."
The Rafale fighter jets are capable of carrying a range of highly effective weapons, including the Meteor air-to-air missile.
The fleet comprising three single-seater and the two twin-seater aircraft will be inducted into the IAF as part of its N0.17 Squadron, which is also known as the "Golden Arrow" will be at the Ambala airbase