Defence News India: Indian Air Force will induct five fully loaded Rafale fighter jets in its arsenal by the month end, providing a big boost to IAF’s range and lethality as these French jets will be equipped with three state-of-the-art missiles manufactured by European missile manufacturer MBDA.
“The first batch of five Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale is likely to arrive in India by end July 2020. The aircraft will be inducted at Air Force Station Ambala on 29 July subject to weather,” IAF said in a statement issued on Monday.
According to officials it will be a low-key affair unlike the last year’s event when Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh visited France to take delivery of first Rafale of Indian Air Force and performed Shastra Puja (the ritual of paying respect to the weapon system for the safety f the country) in France on October 8, 2019.
Officials said that a formal induction ceremony of Rafale fighters will take place in late August. The event will open for the media.
“No media coverage is planned on arrival,” the IAF clarified in the statement.
IAF said its pilots and ground crew staff have already completed comprehensive training on the aircraft, including the training to handle its highly advanced weapon system.
“Crew and weapon system is fully operational now,” said the force.
“Post arrival, efforts will focus on operationalization of the aircraft at the earliest.”