The fifth batch of Rafale fighter aircrafts arrived in India on Wednesday flying a distance of 8,000 km from Merignac Air Base in France.
The Indian Air force thanked the French and UAE air forces for their refuelling support to complete the journey.
“After a direct ferry from MerignacAirBase, France, the fifth batch of Rafales arrived in India on April 21. The fighters flew a distance of almost 8,000 km with air-to-air refuelling support by Armee_de_lair and UAE AF. IAF thanks both the Air Forces for their co-operation,” tweeted the Indian Air Force.
The aircraft had started joining the IAF fleet in the July-August timeframe last year and were quickly operationalised by the Air Force. The aircraft had also been deployed for patrolling along the China front in eastern Ladakh and other fronts during the height of the China confrontation.
The planes equipped with the Hammer missiles have enhanced their capability to carry out air-to-ground strikes like the one in Balakot.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Chief of the Air Staff on Thursday who is on a five-day visit to France on an invitation from Gen Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff visited Rafale Conversion Training Center (CTC), Bordeaux- Merignac and interacted with the IAF contingent at the CTC facility.
“CAS visit to France- Day 2. Air Chief Mshl RKS Bhadauria visited Rafale Conversion Training Center (CTC), Bordeaux- Merignac and interacted with the IAF contingent at the CTC facility,” tweeted Indian Air Force.
The visit of the Chief of the Air Staff from April 19 to 23 will enhance potential avenues for strengthening the level of interaction between the two Air Forces. He will hold meetings and discussions with the senior military leadership of France and undertake visits to operational facilities and airbases.