First Rafale Fighter Aircraft to be Handed over on September 20

Defence Industry

New Delhi. Indian Air Force will get the first of the long awaited Multirole Medium Range Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Rafale on September 20 with the aircraft being received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Air Chief, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa in France.

“In presence of the IAF Chief, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will accept the aircraft in presence of various defence and civilian bureaucrats there,” IAF sources said.

The ceremony is expected to take place around the end of the third week of September and is likely to be attended by a large contingent from the French government as well.

The Indian Air Force would train 24 pilots in three different batches for flying the Indian Rafales till May next year which is when the planes will arrive in India.

The Indian Air Force will deploy one each squadron of the Rafale combat aircraft at its airbases in Ambala in Haryana and Hashimara in Bengal.

In September 2016, India signed a deal with the French government and Dassault Aviation to acquire 36 Rafale fighter jets for over Euro 7.8 billion to arrest the fall of combat squadrons and meet urgent requirements on the eastern and western fronts.