Four Rafale fighter aircraft to arrive in India by July-end

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In a major boost to India's firepower in air, first four Rafale fighter aircraft would start arriving in India by July-end this year from France.

 

According to the sources, the first four aircraft including three twin-seater trainer aircraft and one single-seater fighter aircraft would start arriving by the end of July at the Ambala airbase. 

As per the report, the first aircraft to be flown in is planned to be piloted by the Commanding Officer of the 17 Golden Arrows' squadron along with a French pilot.

The first batch of seven Indian pilots has also finished their training at a French airbase while the second batch would be going to France as soon as the lockdown measures are relaxed in both the countries.

Post lockdown, India received the first consignment of equipment from France when a cargo plane landed in Delhi last week and more equipment would arrive in the near future.

India had signed a deal worth over Rs 60,000 crore with France in September 2016 for 36 Rafales to meet the emergency requirements of the Indian Air Force.

The delivery of the aircraft was earlier supposed to have been done by May end but this was postponed by two months in view of the COVID-19 situation in both India and France.

Armed with the long-range Meteor air-to-air missiles and SCALP, the Rafales would give India an edge over both Pakistan and China in terms of air strike capability.

According to the sources, the air to air and the air to ground strike capabilities of the Rafale cannot be matched by both China and Pakistan and the aircraft would give India an edge over both the rivals.

 

With inputs from ANI

Image credit: The Print

 

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