Rafale Deal: Indian Air Force will receive the first Rafale fighter jet in Paris next month. In September 2016, India and France signed a €7.87 billion government-to-government agreement to acquire 36 Rafale fighter jets from French firm Dassault Aviation in a flyaway condition to meet the urgent operational needs of Indian RAir Force. The first Rafale will be handed over to defence Minister Rajnath Singh on October 8 in Paris.
Rajnath Singh will be accompanied by a high-level delegation of senior officials of defence ministry and Indian Air Force. The handing over ceremony will also coincide with the raising day of Indian Air Force that also falls on October 8.
Under the deal, India will also acquire spares and Meteor missiles.
The aircraft is designed to be a multi-role fighter aircraft. It can simultaneously perform air superiority fighter role and air-to-ground attack role. The aircraft is also equipped with advanced avionics that can jam enemy radars and it is also nuclear capable.
Rafales to be inducted in Golden Arrows Squadron
On Tuesday, Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa resurrected the Golden Arrows 17 Squadron at the Ambala Air Force Station, which will be the home for the first batch of French fighter aircraft Rafale.
Golden Arrows have the distinction of being the most decorated fighter Squadron of the IAF, having won a maximum number of gallantry awards during Kargil conflict.
The Golden Arrows 17 Squadron was commanded by Dhanoa in 1999 during the Kargil operations in 1999, which had operated from Bhatinda airbase. However, the squadron was disbanded in 2016.