On 19 September 2019, the Indian Air Force has been handed over its first Rafale aircraft from France, reports ET Bureau. The official handing over will take place on October 8 when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be visiting France.
The integration of India specific technologies are going ahead at Dassault assembly line for a while. Indian pilots were trained in France and given complete briefings on Rafale and its technological capabilities. Indian Air Force is satisfied with the progress of the acquisition of Rafale. Since Kashmir skirmish, Indian government stepped up its effort to fill the gaps of sanctioned 42 squadrons of Indian Air Force. Indian Air Force recently rejected an offer from HAL to buy additional 40 Su-30MKI in favor of Rafale.
The purchase of another 36 Rafale fighter jets will take the fleet to 72, which will be key to bolster India’s air power, particularly in the aftermath of the Balakot strike, when the IAF went deep inside Pakistan to destroy terror training camps. Ever since, both India and Pakistan have been keen to bolster their air power, reports the Hindu.
Dassault Aviation, the creator of Rafale, and the US’ Boeing, have both extended their offers to help build India’s 5th generation AMCA fighter jet, provided they win the lucrative contract to supply fighter aircraft to the Indian Air force.
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