Indian Air Force will get three more Rafales


 The Indian Air Force’s solitary Rafale squadron will add more muscle with the arrival of at least three more fighter jets in January, a shot in the arm for the IAF that is grappling with a shortage of combat planes, people familiar with developments said on Saturday on the condition of anonymity.

This batch of Rafale fighters will be the third set of deliveries of the French-origin aircraft to the air force, which has ordered a total of 36 warplanes (equivalent of two squadrons) at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.

“At least three Rafale jets will arrive in India next month. The dates are still being worked out. The planes will be flown to Jamnagar from France without a stopover on the way. Refuelling support will be provided by Indian and French tankers,” the people said.

The jets were ordered from France in September 2016 under a government-to-government deal. The delivery of the three jets in January will take the number of Rafales in the IAF’s inventory to 11.The second batch of the IAF’s three Rafale fighter jets had reached the Jamnagar airbase in Gujarat from France in early November before they flew to their homebase in Ambala. The first batch of five Rafale jets of the 36 ordered by the IAF reached the Ambala airbase on July 29 after a stopover at the Al Dhafra airbase near Abu Dhabi, although a formal induction ceremony took place later on September 10.


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