Faced with a shortage of fighter jets, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will receive three more French Rafale fighter jets in early 2021.
This batch of Rafale fighter jets will be the third delivery set of aircraft manufactured by Dassault for the Indian Air Force, which has ordered a total of 36 combat aircraft (equivalent to two squadrons).
“At least three Rafale jets will arrive in India next month. The dates are still being agreed. The aircraft will fly from France to Jamnagar with no restriction. Refueling support will be provided by Indian and French refuelers, ”people familiar with the events said on Saturday on condition of anonymity.
The jet was ordered from France in September 2016 through a government-to-government deal. The delivery of three jets in January will take the number of Rafales in Indian Air Force stock to 11.
The second batch of three Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force arrived at Jamnagar Airport in Gujarat from France in early November before flying to their last base in Ambala. The first batch of five of the 36 Rafale jets ordered by the Indian Air Force reached the Ambala airbase on 29 July following a halt at the Al Dhafra airbase near Abu Dhabi, although a formal opening ceremony took place at the end of the 10th. Of September.
The arrival of more fighter jets will further enhance the Indian Air Force’s ability to deploy rapidly upgraded jets in the Ladakh theater amid military tensions with China.
The Indian Air Force has equipped fighter jets with advanced weapons and sensors at the Ladakh theater, where the army is on high alert to deal with any provocation from China amid frequent border disputes.
The Indian Air Force will receive three to four jets every two months, with all 36 aircraft expected to join the combat fleet by the end of the year. The second Rafale Squadron will be located at Hasimara in West Bengal to strengthen the capabilities of the Indian Air Force in the eastern region.
Rafale twin-engine jets are capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions – land and sea attack, air defense and air superiority, nuclear attack reconnaissance and detention. The fighter can carry around 10 tons of weapons. Specific improvements in India for Rafals include the ability of engine cold start (IRST) to operate for high altitude targets, radar alert receivers, flight data recorders with 10 hours of data, tracking systems and infrared search and , Blockers and countermeasures to fire incoming missiles.