IAF to formally induct Rafale aircraft on Sept 10

IAF to formally induct Rafale aircraft on Sept 10

Patna: The first five Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafales prepare to take off from Dassault Aviation Facility, Merignac, France on July 27, 2020. These five include three single seater and two twin seater aircraft. The ferry of the aircraft is planned in two stages and will be undertaken by the pilots of the IAF, who have undergone comprehensive training on the aircraft. The Air to Air Refuelling planned during the first leg of the ferry will be undertaken by these pilots with dedicated tanker support from the French Air Force. The aircraft are likely to arrive at Air Force Station, Ambala, on 29 July, 2020 i.e Wednesday, subject to weather. No 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”, is being raised at this base equipped with Rafale aircraft. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) The Indian Air Force will formally induct the newly acquired Rafale fighter jets on Thursday at its airbase in Ambala in Haryana, around 200 km from here. The aircraft will be part of the IAF's 17 Squadron, known as 'Golden Arrows'. It was resurrected in September last year. Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Florence Parly, the Minister of the Armed Forces of France, will be the chief guest. The first five Rafale aircraft had arrived in Ambala from France on July 27, 2020. The jets flew from the Merignac airbase in the port city of Bordeaux and landed for a stopover at Al Dhafra airbase in the United Arab Emirates after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km. A day later, they flew again and landed at the Ambala airbase. The induction program will include ceremonial unveiling of the Rafale aircraft, a traditional 'sarva dharma puja', air display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well as Sarang aerobatic team. Afterwards, a traditional water cannon salute will be given to the Rafale aircraft. The program will culminate with the ceremonial induction of Rafale aircraft to the 17 Squadron. Rafale would be a game changer in the current scenario when India is involved in border tension with China in eastern Ladakh. The aircraft will increase India's air power manifold. Rafale is a 4.5 generation aircraft and has latest weapons, superior sensors and fully integrated architecture. The French delegation will be represented by Emmanuel Lenain, the Ambassador of France to India, Air General Eric Autellet, Vice Chief of Air Staff of the French Air Force, and other senior officials. Rafale is an omni-role aircraft which mean it can carry out at least four missions in one sortie. Further, the aircraft is armed with HAMMER missile, beyond-visual-range missiles like Meteor, SCALP and MICA, thereby increasing its ability to take on incoming targets from a distance.

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