IAF said in a tweet that the second batch of Rafale aircraft arrived in India. “Second batch of IAF #Rafale aircraft arrived in India at 8:14 pm on 04 Nov 20 after flying non-stop from France,” the Indian Air Force (IAF) stated.
This second batch of three Rafale aircraft took off from a French airbase and reached India after three mid-air refuelling en route. The Rafale aircraft covered the distance from France to India in a span of eight hours, showcasing the IAF’s long-range operational capability.
Sharing a video of the second batch of Rafale aircraft landing in India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in a tweet, “The IAF pilots brought home the second batch of three Rafale aircraft today after flying non-stop from France in a ferry that lasted for over 8 hours. RM @rajnathsingh congratulates @IAF_MCC for successfully accomplishing a highly complex mission in a professional & safe manner.”
This addition of aircraft, will take the total strength of Rafale fighter jets with IAF to eight further strengthening the capacity of India to take on threats emerging from China.
Indian Air Force is likely to operationalize the second batch of Rafale jets at the earliest. In the first batch, India had received five Rafale aircraft in July and these were inducted in IAF in September. The first batch has already been operationalized and has carried out sorties in the Ladakh sector.
In 2016, India had signed a Rs 59,000 crore deal for 36 Rafales which will be based in Ambala and Hasimara (West Bengal) air bases.
The 4.5 generation fighter aircraft, capable of carrying nuclear weapons provides IAF unmatched air superiority in the region with its advanced avionics and deadly weapon package which include Meteor, Scalp and HAMMER missiles.
Rafale jets are armed with the advanced beyond visual range Meteor air-to-air missiles which have a range of up to 150 kilometers. Meteor has the ability to chase down and destroy agile hostile fighters at even the furthest of ranges and has a no-escape zone many times greater than any other air-to-air missile.