Rafale to join fleet of IAF

Published: August 28, 2020

First Five Rafale aircraft is all set to join the fleet of IAF (Indian Air Force) at the Ambala Air Base on 10th September this year. The induction ceremony will be graced by Florence Parly, the French counterpart of Rajnath Singh, Indian Defence Minister.

Background

The country is already running short of 300 fighter aircraft of different types. After the much controversy regarding the corruption in the purchase of Rafale fighter aircrafts the Government of India in September 2016, gave the contract for 36 Rafales to the French Firm Dassault Aviation. The contract came to be the largest-ever defence deal signed by the country worth over Rs 60,000 crore of which the majority payments have already been made to the French firm Dassault Aviation. The deal was signed by Manohar Parrikar as the Defence Minister, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Finally, when Rajnath Singh became Defence Minister, he went to France to accept the first Rafale for India in October 2019 on the auspicious festival of Dussehra and also flew in the aircraft which was accepted after performing ‘pooja’ with traditional Hindu rituals.

About the Aircraft

The first five Rafale aircraft which covered a distance of nearly 8,500 km from France to India while homecoming includes three single-seaters and two twin-seaters. These jets have already flown over the Ladakh region in order to acquaint itself with the area where it will be deputed in the future. Eventually, these are aimed at significantly enhancing IAF’s offensive capabilities and be a game-changer in advanced weaponry, high-tech sensors, superior radar for detection and tracking of targets and ability to carry an impressive payload.

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