Five Rafale fighter jets, built by Dassault Aviation of France, arrive at Ambala airbase

Published: July 31, 2020

The first batch of the Rafale fighter jets has landed at the Ambala Air Base Station and was greeted with a special water cannon salute. This is the first western combat aircraft to join the Indian Air Force 23 years after the Sukhoi aircraft were imported.

Highlights

The French-manufactured Rafale multi-role combat jets covered a distance of nearly 7000 km and were escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs once they entered the Indian air space. The fleet consisting of three single-seater and two twin-seater aircraft will be part of the No 17 Squadron of the Indian Air Force, also known as the ‘Golden Arrows’.

Background

This is the first batch from a contingent of 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation as part of a Rs 59000 crore deal signed by the government in September 2016. The planes are expected to give a fillip to India’s air power amid growing tensions with Pakistan and China. The delivery official started in October 2019 when the first Rafale jet was given to the IAF during the visit of the Defence Minister to France. The entire contingent will be delivered in 2022.

Ambala Air Base

The Ambala Air Base two squadrons of the Jaguar combat aircraft and one squadron of the MIG-21 Bison. The Mirage fighters that were used for India’s strike in Balakot in 2019, took off from this airbase only.

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