Indian Air Force gets delivery of its first set of Dassault Rafales !
The Indian Air Force received 5 of their much anticipated Rafale fighter aircraft on 29th Jul 2020 at the Ambala Air Base, Haryana. During their arrival, Section 144 was imposed near the air force station of Ambala, such was the frenzy and excitement on its arrival, infact being a sensitive zone it was also declared as a “no drone area”. They started their journey to their squadron in Ambala in India, flying around 7,000 kms from France with a quick night halt at Al-Dhafra Air Base (UAE), to complete a journey that started over a decade ago under the UPA regime. Strangely while the Rafales were stationed at the airbase in UAE atleast 3 Iranian air missiles were reportedly launched and landed close by.
Rafale is a 4.5 generation aircraft which can reach a speed of 1.8 Mach, it is known as one the finest fighter jets available worldwide and is described as an ‘omnirole’ aircraft that can take up several missions on a single flight. With its avionics, radars and weaponry systems, the Rafale is the most potent aircraft in South Asia, much ahead of the F-16 that Pakistan uses or even the JF-20, the 5th generation stealth aircraft of China, which is yet to see any combat missions.
Rafales are equipped with a wide range of weapons, intended to augment India’s air supremacy. They are capable of external, deep strike and reconnaissance missions, air support to ground forces and nuclear deterrence duties with the capability of midair refueling.
The first Rafale, with a tail number RB-001, was handed over to the IAF in France in October last year and the ones that came in July this year were received by Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria. Incidentally ‘RB’ on the trainer aircraft’s tail stands for the initials of the IAF Chief himself, a tribute to Bhadauria for working out the Rafale deal as the force’s deputy chief earlier while the single seater Rafales with the initials ‘BS’ are dedicated to the former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa. The fighters will be inducted as the No 17 Squadron, “Golden Arrows”.