IAF chief welcomes pilots who flew Rafale jets to India

Ambala: Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Wednesday welcomed the pilots, who flew Rafale jets to India, Indian Air Force (IAF) airbase in Haryana’s Ambala.

Five French Rafale fighter jets touched down at Ambala today after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km to join the IAF. The five jets were flown by pilots of the 17 Golden Arrows led by Commanding Officer Group Captain Harkirat Singh along with other pilots, Wing Commanders MK Singh, R Kataria, Sidhu and Arun.

Water salute was given to the five Rafale fighter aircraft after their landing at IAF airbase in Ambala.

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The formal induction ceremony of the aircraft would be held later. The aircraft would move out soon to another operational base for operational sorties.

After taking off from France on Monday, the aircraft made their first stopover at a French base in the United Arab Emirates on their way to India and were refuelled by the French Air Force tanker aircraft somewhere around Greece or Israel over the sea before landing there.

India had signed a Rs 59,000-crore deal on September 23, 2016, for 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.

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