New Delhi: With the landing of the 36th and the final fighter jet, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday received the delivery of all the aircraft for which it had entered into a Rs 58,000-crore deal with France’s Dassault Aviation in 2016.
“The pack is complete. The last of the 36 IAF Rafales landed in India after a quick enroute sip from a UAE Air Force tanker,” the IAF said in an official statement.
A squadron of Rafale will monitor the western border and northern border with Pakistan, while another squadron will monitor the eastern border area of India. Due to the completion of the Rafel deal, the strength of the Indian Air Force has increased especially at a time when tension and a clash has erupted at the International borders with China.
According to sources, the 36th Rafael fighter jet will soon become a part of the Air Force’s Squadron. Among the India-specific enhancements, the jets included helmet-mounted sight, radar warning receivers, flight data recorders with enough storage for 10 hours, infra-red search and track systems, and towed decoys to lure incoming missiles away and missile approach warning system.
Recently, the Air Force had successfully tested long-range Meteor missile and Scalp air-to-ground missile from Rafale. A HAMMER missile has also been added to Rafael’s arsenal. This missile is capable of accurate attack in short range, the official added.
The IAF shared the update along with the picture of the world’s most advanced fighter jet. India had received the first batch of five Rafale jets at the Air Force Station Ambala in July 2020. These jets were a part of the 17 Squadron.
The last Rafel landed in India on a day when the IAF was conducting an exercise near the India-China border. This exercise of the Indian Air Force will continue up to December 16 in the Eastern Sector of the country. Air bases in Assam’s Tezpur, Chabua, Jorhat and West Bengal’s Hasimara are likely to be activated in the exercise.
As per the official, “The Eastern Air Command of Indian Air Force shall be conducting a pre-planned routine exercise in its AOR on December 15-16. This exercise was planned well in advance to the recent developments in Tawang, and is not associated with these events. The exercise shall be conducted towards training of the IAF crew”.