Welcome to India: 5 Rafale fighter jets land in Ambala, to join IAF
Ambala : The first batch of five Rafale jets landed in Ambala on Wednesday (July 29) after traveling 7,000 kms to join the Indian Air Force. The fleet, comprising three single seater and two twin seater aircraft, will be part of the No. 17 Squadron of the Air Force, also known as the ''Golden Arrows'.
"The Birds have landed safely in Ambala. The touch down of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History. These multirole aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the @IAF_MCC," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in a series of tweets.
"Welcome home 'Golden Arrows'. Blue skies always," the Indian Air Force tweeted with a photo of the Rafales in "Arrow formation", given a ceremonial welcome by SU-30s.
Earlier, Rajnath Singh had tweeted a video showing that the five Rafale jets have entered the Indian Air Space.
The jets took off from France on Monday and arrived at the Ambala Air Force station after covering a distance of 7,000 kilometres with air-to-air refuelling and a single stop in the United Arab Emirates.
Delivery officially started in October last year when the first Rafale jet was handed over to the IAF during a visit to France by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The planes stayed in France for training of the pilots and mechanics. The entire contingent is to be delivered by 2022.
Amid tensions with neighbouring nations Pakistan and China, the Rafale fighter jets will add more strength to Indian Air Force.