India’s first fleet of five Rafale combat jets landed at Haryana’s Ambala on Wednesday (July 29) after two days of flight and a stopover at Al Dhafra in the UAE. Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria received the fleet at Ambala.
A few minutes earlier, the fleet was escorted into the Indian airspace by two IAF Sukhoi-30MKI fighters.
The five jets landed at Al Dhafra airbase on Monday in the UAE after flying for over seven hours from the Merignac airbase. It was the only stopover by the jets while flying from France to India.
The jets were also refuelled mid-air from a French tanker at a height of 30,000 feet.
The Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in over two decades, and they are expected to significantly boost the Indian Air Forces combat capabilities.
The Touchdown of Rafale at Ambala. pic.twitter.com/e3OFQa1bZY
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 29, 2020
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “The Birds have landed safely in Ambala. The touch down of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History. These multirole aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the @IAF_MCC (SIC).”
(With inputs from agencies)