IAF gets more firepower: Second batch of three Rafale fighter jets from France lands in India
The first batch of five Rafale aircraft had arrived at the Ambala air force base on July 29
The second batch of three Rafale fighter jets landed in India on Wednesday evening after a non-stop flight from France. The aircraft received multiple mid-air refuelling during the journey.
According to the Indian Air Force (IAF), the three Rafale aircraft aircraft got airborne from Istres air base in France and flew for over eight hours before landing at an IAF base. They covered a distance of over 3700 nautical miles with three in-flight refuelings.
The IAF thanked the French Air Force for the tanker refueling support extended for the direct ferry by the second batch of Rafales.
The IAF also shared a video on Twitter.
The second batch of three Rafale aircraft got airborne from Istres airbase in France and flew for over eight hours before landing at an IAF base. They covered a distance of over 3700 nautical miles with three in-flight refuellings. pic.twitter.com/gHEixnMh2B— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) November 4, 2020
The Indian Embassy in France described it as another important step in the India-France strategic partnership.
"Another flight in India France strategic partnership: Next batch of #Rafale jets landed safely in India after non stop flight from France with multiple mid air refueling," the Indian Embassy in France said on Twitter.
Another flight in ????????-???????? strategic partnership:— India in France (@Indian_Embassy) November 4, 2020
Next batch of #Rafale jets landed safely in India after non stop flight from France with multiple mid air refueling.@PMOIndia @narendramodi @JawedAshraf5 @IAF_MCC @PIB_India @DrSJaishankar @harshvshringla @DDNewslive pic.twitter.com/nK3uSvp5oK
In a message on Twitter, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the Indian Air Force "for successfully accomplishing a highly complex mission in a professional & safe manner".
The first batch of five Rafale aircraft had arrived at the Ambala air force base on July 29. They were formally inducted into the 17th Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ of the Indian Air Force on September 10 at a ceremony attended by French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly and the Indian Defence Minister.
India has ordered 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from Dassault Aviation of France to give more teeth to the capabilities of the IAF. Before the first jets landed in India, IAF aircrew and ground crew underwent comprehensive training on the aircraft, including its highly advanced weapons systems.