The Indian Air Force received a huge boost in the arm as France delivered the first five Rafale fighter jets to India. The first batch made landing in the Ambala airbase before having to make a stop at the Al Dhafra airbase on Monday in the UAE after flying for over seven hours from the Merignac airbase.
The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's office said the Rafales are escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs after they entered the Indian air space. The jets were also refueled mid-air by a French tanker. Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will receive the fleet at Ambala.
The Rafale jets are India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in over two decades, and they are expected to significantly boost the Indian Air Force's combat capabilities. The jets are manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation, which will deliver a total of 38 such jets to India, a deal which was signed in 2016.
“I congratulate the IAF on a professionally executed ferry. I am sure that 17 Squadron, the Golden Arrows, will continue to live upto their motto of "Udayam Ajasram". I am extremely happy that IAF’s combat capability has got a timely boost,” said Rajnath Singh.
The Number 17 Golden Arrows squadron of the Indian Air Force has been resurrected in preparation for the induction. The Golden Arrows were raised in 1951 but were disbanded in 2016 after the Air Force phased out MiG-21s.
The whole nation was happy to see Indian armed forces getting such a boost especially in the present times where the country faces a twin threat from its neighbors. Along with the citizens, the Indian cricketers were also ecstatic about the induction of Rafale Jets in the Indian Air Force and showed their excitement on Twitter.
Here are some tweets: