Headlines July 30, 2020
5 Rafale jets join Indian Air Force fleet
The first five of a batch of Rafale fighter jets landed in India at Ambala in Haryana on Wednesday. The jets flew a distance of nearly 7,000 km to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet.
Chief of Air Staff RKS Bhadauria was at the air base to receive the jets. This is India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in over 20 years. A 59,000-crore-rupee deal was signed in September 2016 for 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.
Security was tight near the Ambala airbase which is near the border with Pakistan. Large gatherings were banned in four villages nearby. People were also stopped from gathering on rooftops and taking any videos or pictures of the landing. Some people lit candles to welcome the jets.
The jets were flown by IAF officers from France. They were refuelled mid-air on the way. The jets made a stopover in the UAE, where France has an air base. All the jets are to be delivered by 2022.
The planes are expected to improve India’s air power in a big way amid tensions with China and Pakistan.
“Our air force pilots tell us that these are extremely swift, nimble, versatile and very deadly aircraft,” said Jawed Ashraf, India’s ambassador to France. “This is going to add a great deal of strength to our airpower and defence preparedness but it is also a powerful symbol of our strategic partnership between France and India”.
The fleet will be inducted into the IAF as part of its No. 17 Squadron, also known as the Golden Arrows. It will be stationed at Ambala air base.
Watch in Sign Language
Support us to make NewzHook Sustainable – Make a Contribution Today
We need your continued support to enable us work towards Changing Attitudes towards Disability. Help us in our attempt to share the voices of people with disabilities that enable them to participate in the society on an equal footing!