3 more Rafale fighter jets arrive in India from France

New Delhi, July 21 (KMS): A fresh batch of three Rafale aircraft arrived in India, this evening, after a direct ferry from Istres Air Base, France.

Kashmir Media Service quoting Indian media said, the aircraft were provided mid-air re-fuelling by air force tankers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Three Rafale aircraft arrived in India a short while ago, after a direct ferry from Istres Air Base, France. IAF deeply appreciates the support by UAE Air Force for in-flight re-fuelling during the non-stop ferry,” the IAF said.

The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.

The Rafale jets, manufactured by French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia.

The Rafale jets are capable of carrying a range of potent weapons. European missile maker MBDA”s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile, Scalp cruise missile and MICA weapons system will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets.

The IAF is also procuring a new generation medium-range modular air-to-ground weapon system Hammer to integrate with the Rafale jets.

Hammer (Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range) is a precision-guided missile developed by French defence major Safran. The missile was originally designed and manufactured for the French Air Force and Navy.

Meteor is the next generation of BVR air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) designed to revolutionise air-to-air combat. The weapon has been developed by MBDA to combat common threats facing the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Sweden. KMS—A