IAF gets a big boost as the fourth batch of three Rafale fighter jets landed in India after flying non-stop from France. The jets were provided mid-air refuelling by air force tankers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The size of the Rafale fleet has increased to 14.
IAF tweeted "The 4th batch of three IAF #Rafales landed on Indian soil after a direct ferry from #IstresAirBase France" Though they did not disclose the base where the Rafale jets landed.
The Indian Embassy in France tweeted, "Another batch of #Rafale take to the skies on nonstop flight to India with mid-air refuelling by UAE. Indian Air power grows further," The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
The Indian Air Force is also set to raise the second squadron of the Rafale combat jets in mid-April and it will be based in Hasimara air base in West Bengal. India is expected to get more Rafale jets from France in the next few months.
The Rafale jets are India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia. They are capable of carrying a range of potent weapons.
European missile manufacturer MBDA's Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile, Scalp cruise missile and MICA weapons system will be the support of the weapons package of the Rafale jets.