Resurrection of Second Squadron at Hashimara base All Set, Another Batch of Four Rafale Fighters Arriving Next Week

Defence Industry

New Delhi: With the arrival of another batch of four Rafale fighters from Merignac-Bordeaux airbase in France next week (May 19-20), the resurrection of 101 squadron (Falcons of Chamb) by Indian Air Force (IAF) at Hashimara, West Bengal is all set.

Availability of mid-air refuellers of the UAE Air Force and weather conditions will be determine the exact date of Rafale landing in India. The IAF will have 24 Rafale fighter jets in India by the end of May, with another seven kept for training purposes in France and only five more to be handed over before the two squadrons are complete. The last five aircraft may be delivered in the second-half of 2021.

With repaved extended runways, ammunition depots, blast pens and personnel accommodation apart from maintenance bays, the home base of second squadron is getting readied at Hashimara and should be operational by end of this month.

It may be noted that India ordered 36 warplanes from France (equivalent of two squadrons) in 2016 under a government-to-government deal. The Rafale fighters has boosted the IAF and is being considered to be a game changer.