IAF to get Rafales’ second batch in November

Deccan Chronicle.  | dc correspondent

Nation, Current Affairs

The first batch has already been operationalised and has carried out sorties in the Ladakh sector

A member of the Indian Air Force (IAF) band performs next to the newly launched Rafale fighter jet during the 88th Air Force Day parade at Hindon Air Force station in Ghaziabad on October 8, 2020. (AFP)

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force will get the second batch of three to four Rafale fighter jets in the first week of November, boosting its firepower amidst the ongoing tensions with China. These fighters will arrive at the Ambala airbase in Haryana by the first week of November from France. The IAF is preparing to receive these fighters and will operationalise them as soon as possible.

India got the first batch of five Rafale aircraft in July, and these were inducted into the IAF in September. The first batch has already been operationalised and has carried out sorties in the Ladakh sector. With the second batch, India will have eight to nine advanced Rafale fighters to take on the threats emerging from China.

An IAF team is in France to review the project. In 2016, India had signed a Rs 59,000-crore deal for 36 Rafales, which will be based at the Ambala and Hasimara (West Bengal) airbases.

The 4.5 generation fighter aircraft, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, provides the IAF unmatched air superiority in the region, with advanced avionics and a deadly weapons package, which include the Meteor, Scalp and Hammer missiles.

The Rafale jets give India an edge over China and Pakistan as it is armed with the most advanced beyond visual range Meteor air-to-air missiles, with a range of up to 150 km. The Meteor can chase and destroy agile hostile fighters at even long range, and neither the Pakistan nor Chinese Air Forces have a missile to counter it.