The 101 Squadron is the second IAF Squadron to be equipped with Rafale aircraft

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally inducted Rafale aircraft into No. 101 Squadron at Air Force Station Hasimara in Eastern Air Command (EAC).

The induction ceremony on Wednesday included a fly-past heralding the arrival of Rafale aircraft to Hasimara followed by a traditional water cannon salute.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria presided over the ceremony.

The 101 Squadron is the second IAF Squadron to be equipped with Rafale aircraft. The Golden Arrows’ 17 Squadron is already fully operational at the Ambala airbase with its complement of 18 fighters.

The Air Chief pointed out that the induction of Rafale had been carefully planned at Hasimara, keeping in mind the importance of strengthening IAF's capability in the Eastern Sector.

The 101 Squadron was formed on 01 May 1949 at Palam and has operated Harvard, Spitfire, Vampire, Su-7 and MiG-21M aircraft in the past. The history of this Squadron includes active participation in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

Recalling the glorious history of 101 Squadron which bestowed upon them the title of 'Falcons of Chamb and Akhnoor', Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria urged the personnel to combine their zeal and commitment with the unmatched potential of the newly inducted platform.

He said that he had no doubt that the Squadron would dominate whenever and wherever required and ensure that the adversary would always be intimidated by their sheer presence.

The multi-role Rafale jets, built by French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, are known for air superiority and precision strikes.

India has so far received 26 Rafale aircraft out of the 36 it has ordered from Dassault Aviation. The last batch arrived on July 21. The rest of the aircraft are expected to be delivered in batches by 2022.