Three more Rafale jets to arrive in India on March 31, UAE to provide mid-air refuelling: Report
After landing in India, the jets would be flown to Ambala, where they would be joining the Golden Arrows Squadron, as per the report.
March 29, 2021 / 09:54 PM IST
Mid-air refuelling of a Rafale jet part of the first batch which India received on July 29, 2020 (File image: Twitter/@Indian_Embassy)
A batch of three Rafale jets would be arriving in India on March 31, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) set to provide mid-air refuelling to the aircraft that will take off from France, a report said on March 29.
The three fighter jets would leave the Merignac airbase in Bordeaux at 7 am and would land in Gujarat at 7 pm, Hindustan Times reported citing sources in Dassault Aviation - the company manufacturing the Rafale aircraft.
The Air Force’s Airbus 330 multi-role transport tankers, operated by the UAE, would provide mid-air refuelling to the Rafale jets over the Gulf of Oman, the report said.
After landing in India, the jets would be flown to Ambala, where they would be joining the Golden Arrows Squadron. A total of 11 Rafale jets are alreadly part of the squadron, and the arrival of the next batch of warplanes would take the strength to 14.
The first batch of three Rafale aircraft was received on July 29 last year - nearly four years after the Rs 59,000 crore deal for 36 jets was signed. The formal induction ceremony of the fleet had taken place at the Indian Air Force's (IAF) Ambala base on September 10, 2020.
A second batch of three Rafale jets arrived on November 3, followed by a third batch of three more jets that joined the IAF on January 27.
According to sources linked to news agency PTI
, a second Rafale squadron will be raised in mid-April this year, at the next main operating base in West Bengal's Hasimara. The country is expecting to receive more Rafale jets
from France in the next couple of months.