NEW DELHI: IAF chief RKS Bhadauria on Wednesday welcomed the pilots, who flew the Rafale jets (birds) from France to India at the Indian Air Force’s airbase in Ambala, Haryana.
French aerospace major Dassault Aviation has delivered the first 5 Rafale jets to India, the rest will follow soon. This is a part of the Rs.59,000 crore deal India has signed with Dassault.
The five pilots of the 17 Golden Arrows were Commanding Officer Group Captain Harkirat Singh with Wing Commanders R Kataria, MK Singh, Arun and Sidhu. The Rafale jets got a water salute as per the tradition.
Later on, the IAF will formally induct these jets. The aircraft will now move to another base for operational sorties.
The pilots of these 5 newly-inducted aircraft made a 7,000 km journey from France, refuelled mid-air by a French aircraft near Greece or Israel and then stopped at the French air base at the United Arab Emirates before leaving for India.
The Ambala airbase started preparing for welcoming the aircraft way back in September 2019.
These jets will come under a new squadron under the name ‘Golden Arrows’ which was resurrected for these modern, lethal and technologically advanced fighter jets. With the increased hostility between India and China, these Rafale jets can bring an extra dose of security to our armed forces.