An Indian Air Force team, headed by a two star officer, is presently working on assessing the growth and development of the Rafale project in France. This assessment comes as India makes arrangements for the second batch of Rafale fighter jets to arrive their home base in Ambala in the upcoming weeks, officials revealed on Thursday.
The officials mentioned that the IAF team, led by chief assistant of air staff, had gone to France in the week’s beginning for the planned review of the project.
On July 29, five Rafale jets of the 35 issued by IAF arrived at Ambala airbase post a halt at Al Dhafra airbase near Abu Dhabi. The official induction ceremony of the fighter jets happened on September 10.
The next batch of three to four Rafale fighter jets would be reaching India in the forthcoming few weeks and will further enhance the IAF’s capability to rapidly deploy the advanced jets with rising border tensions with China and Pakistan.
The IAF has scheduled for three or four Rafale jets to be delivered every two months, with all the planes expected to join IAF by the end of 2021.
The Rafale jets are being operated in the Ladakh theatre where the military is on high alert to fight any provocation by Chinese Army. IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria mentioned the incorporation of Rafale fighter jets gave IAF an operational and technical edge with the advanced weapons, sensors and technologies. He stated, “Combined with upgraded operational capabilities of our current fighter fleet, it gives us the ability to shoot first and strike deep and hard, even in contested airspace.”
The Rafale jets have the capability of executing missions with ground and sea attack, air defence and air superiority and nuclear strike deterrence with the ability to hold 10 tonnes of weapons.