India To Receive 36 Rafale On Air Force Day
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is set to receive the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets in Paris on October 8 which also marks the Air Force Day.
Top military brass of France as well as senior officials of Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, will also be present at the handing over ceremony on 8th October.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to hold extensive talks with top defence brass of the French government on ways to deepen defence and security cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited France last month during which both sides resolved to further enhance the already close defence ties between the two countries.
A high-level team of the Indian Air Force is already in Paris to coordinate with the French officials on the handing over ceremony.
The aircraft is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons and missiles.
The IAF has already completed preparations, including readying required infrastructure and training of pilots, to welcome the fighter aircraft.
The first squadron of the aircraft will be deployed at Ambala air force station.
The second squadron of Rafale will be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal.
The Rafale jets will come with various India-specific modifications, including Israeli helmet-mounted displays, radar warning receivers, low band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, infra-red search and tracking systems among others.
The IAF spent around Rs 400 crore to develop required infrastructure like shelters, hangers and maintenance facilities at the two bases.
In July 2017, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, during his visit to France, flew a Rafale jet at the Saint-Dizier airbase to gain first-hand experience of the aircraft.
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Written by DDE
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