New Delhi: Three more Rafale fighter aircraft arrived in India on Tuesday evening after taking off from France. The Rs 60,000 crore contract between India and France for 36 Rafale fighter jets is now nearing completion as only one aircraft is left to be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF).
“Three Rafale fighter aircraft arrived in India yesterday evening from France. The aircraft were provided aerial refuelling support by the UAE Air Force. With the arrival of these three planes, India has now received 35 of the 36 Rafales for which it had signed a contract with France in September 2016. The 36th aircraft will arrive in India from France by March-end or April first week,” said government officials.
India had ordered 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France in September 2016. The addition of Rafale is seen as a major capability booster for the IAF.
The twin-engine Rafale jets are capable of carrying out a variety of missions: ground and sea attack, air defence and air superiority, reconnaissance, and nuclear strike deterrence.
The Rafales carrying the long-range Meteor air-to-air missiles are considered to have an edge over fighter planes with Pakistan and China.
The planes equipped with the Hammer missiles have enhanced India’s capability to carry out air-to-ground strikes like the one in Balakot.