The first batch of five Rafale jets flew out of France today and will arrive in India on Wednesday, July 29, when the fighter jets will officially be inducted and join the Indian Air Force fleet in Haryana’s Ambala. The fighter jets, built by French aviation firm Dassault, took off from the Merignac airbase in southern France’s Bordeaux today and landed safely at Al Dhafra airbase in the UAE after a sortie of more than seven hours.
The five aircraft will be the first tranche of the 36 planes bought by India from France in a Rs 59,000-crore inter-governmental deal in 2016.
Twelve IAF pilots and engineering crew members are fully trained trained on the Rafale fighter jets.
The Rafale aircraft will cover a distance of nearly 7,000 km from France to India with air-to-air refuelling and had a single stop at the French airbase in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“Delivery of ten aircraft has been completed on schedule. Five will stay back in France for training Mission. The delivery of all thirty six aircraft will be completed on schedule by the end of 2021,” the Indian embassy in France said in a statement.