File image: Twitter @IAF_MCC
The Indian Air Force is set to receive a minimum of 10 Rafale fighter jets. The addition is likely to lead to the formation of the second squadron of the planes. The addition would take the number of Rafale planes to 21.
"Three Rafale fighters would be arriving in India in next two to three days directly flying from France with midair refuelling support by a friendly Air Force," senior government sources told ANI.
"Following that, we would be getting around 7-8 more of these fighters and their trainer version in the second half of next month. This would greatly boost our capability to carry out our missions," the sources told the news agency.
The aircraft would be stationed in Ambala and some would be later sent to Hashimara where the process of starting the second squadron has already started, the report said.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
The IAF has deployed the aircraft for patrolling along the China front in eastern Ladakh as tension rose along the border.
India received the first batch of five Rafale aircraft on July 29, 2020, which were, subsequently, inducted into the 17 'Golden Arrows' Squadron on September 10 at the Ambala Air Base. The Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft has given a boost to IAF’s air dominance.
The second batch of three Rafale combat aircraft arrived in India on November 4, 2020. Three more combat aircraft landed in India on January 27, taking the fleet size to 11.
Manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation, the Rafale is a 4.5 generation combat aircraft and has the latest weapons, superior sensors, and fully integrated architecture.
It is an Omni-role aircraft, meaning it can carry out at least four missions in one sortie.
The fighter jet also has HAMMER missiles. It is armed with beyond visual range missiles like Meteor, SCALP, and MICA, increasing its ability to take on incoming targets from a distance.
India had ordered 36 of these fighter aircraft from France in September 2016.