Three more Rafale fighter aircrafts have arrived in India On Tuesday evening from France.
With this, the contract for 36 Rafale fighter jets is now nearing completion as only one more aircraft is left to be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF).
"Three Rafale fighter aircraft arrived in India yesterday evening from France. The aircraft were provided aerial refuelling support by the UAE Air Force. With the arrival of these three planes, India has now received 35 of the 36 Rafales for which it had signed a contract with France in September 2016. The 36th aircraft will arrive in India from France by March-end or April first week," government officials told ANI.
In September 2016, India had ordered 36 Rafale fighter jets from France in a Rs 60,000 crore contract. The addition of Rafale is seen as a major capability booster for the IAF.
The twin-engine Rafale jets are capable of carrying out a variety of missions: ground and sea attack, air defence and air superiority, reconnaissance, and nuclear strike deterrence.
The Rafales carry the long-range Meteor air-to-air missiles which are considered to have an edge over fighter planes with Pakistan and China.
The planes are also equipped with the Hammer missiles which have enhanced India's capability to carry out air-to-ground strikes like the one in Balakot.