In historic moments for the Indian Air Force, the first batch of five Rafale combat jets on Wednesday entered the Indian air space on its way to Ambala airbase from France, officials said.
The fleet landed at Al Dhafra airbase on Monday in the UAE after flying for over seven hours from the Merignac airbase. It was the only stopover by the jets while flying from France to India.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s office said the Rafales are escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs after they entered the Indian air space.
The jets were also refueled mid-air from a French tanker at a height of 30,000 feet.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will receive the fleet at Ambala.
The Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in over two decades, and they are expected to significantly boost the Indian Air Force’s combat capabilities.