The Indian Air Force is making preparation to receive the second lot of Rafale combat aircraft built by French company Dassault Aviation by next month.
The force has sent a team of experts led by the Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Projects) to coordinate the logistical issues. The air force pilots are being trained in batches at the Saint-Dizier air base in France.
India received the first batch of five Rafale aircraft on July 29 which were inducted to the 17 Squadron at the Ambala Air Base on September 10.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of these aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
After the induction of the first batch of Rafale aircraft, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had termed the Rafale deal as a game-changer. “I am confident that our air force has acquired a technological edge with Rafale,” Rajnath Singh had said.
Rafale is a 4.5 generation aircraft and has latest weapons, superior sensors and fully integrated architecture. It is an omni-role aircraft which means it can carry out at least four missions in one sortie.
The fighter aircraft have HAMMER missiles. It will also be armed with beyond visual range missiles like Meteor, SCALP and MICA, increasing their ability to take on incoming targets from a distance.