The first batch of five Rafale jets landed in Ambala today which took off from France to reach India on July 27.
The Touchdown of Rafale at Ambala. pic.twitter.com/e3OFQa1bZY— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 29, 2020
Rafale Jets touchdown at Ambala Air base around 3:30pm. They were escorted by two SU-30S after they entered Indian Air Space.
INS Kolkata Delta 63 WARSHIP from Indian Ocean also had a word with Rafale and congratulated them for entering Indian Air Space. INS wished Rafale to reach even higher glory and safe landing at Ambala.
रफ़ाल फ़ाइटर जेट जब हिंद महासागर के ऊपर से भारतीय सीमा में घुसे तो आईएनएस कोलकाता डेल्टा 63 ने क्या कहा? pic.twitter.com/fT0FTlg3Sq— BBC News Hindi (@BBCHindi) July 29, 2020
In view of Rafale fighter jets landing in the city on Wednesday, Section 144 has been imposed in four villages close to Ambala airbase.
Munish Sehgal, DSP Traffic, Ambala, said the administration is on a high alert, and the gathering of people on roofs and photography during landing has been strictly prohibited.
Amid boiling tensions between India and China at Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern Ladakh, Rafale aircraft will be a significant boost for India’s defense system. These multi-role fighter aircraft flew out of France on July 27 and will arrive at Ambala airspace in India on July 29.
The fleet will travel a distance of 7,000 km from Merignac airbase in Bordeaux, France, to Ambala airbase in Harayana, India. With air-to-air fuelling, the jets will take a single stop rest in an airbase in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Indian pilots will fly the jets from France to India. They have undergone thorough training on the aircraft. First Indian Pilot to Fly Rafale is Air Commodore Hilal Ahmad Rather from Kashmir.
The five combat aircraft are the first batch of the 36 Rafale jets that India is buying from France. India signed an inter-governmental deal with France in 2016. 36 Rafale jets are procured for Indian Air Force (IAF) in a ₹59,000 crores contract.
IAF spokesperson said that they would conduct a formal induction ceremony in mid-August. As per the reports, the Rafale aircraft is likely to be positioned in the Ladakh sector to enhance combat capabilities along the LAC. The jets will improve the operational abilities at a time when India is locked in a severe border row with China.
To welcome the aircraft, IAF has made the necessary arrangements at Ambala air station. Along with required infrastructure such as hangers, shelters, etc., IAF has also trained its pilots for flying Rafale jets.
India Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf congratulated the Indian pilots and wished them a safe flight to India. “Real beauty and beast,” Jawed Ashraf wrote in his tweet.
He even visited the Rafale Assembly line and interacted with the Indian pilots.
The remaining Rafale jets will be delivered by the end of 2021. The second batch of the aircraft is to be positioned at Hasimara Base in West Bengal.
Currently, the Russian Sukhoi Su-30MKIs are the spine of IAF fighter. There are 272 Su-30MKIs in service. And now with Rafale fighter jets, India has added an invaluable addition to its defense system.
Why Rafale Jets is an invaluable addition to Indian Defense System?
- 4.5 Generation Jet
Rafale is classified as a 4.5-generation aircraft. With the AESA radar, IRST system, and SPECTRA Electronic Warfare System, Rafale jets are crucial for India’s security with its neighbors.
The IAF at present has only third-generation (Mirage 2000) and fourth-generation (Su-30 MKI) fighter jets.
With two SNECMA M88 engines, the Rafale jets can fly at the speed of 2,222.6km per hour and a range of more than 3,700 km.
It will only take 8 minutes to reach Lahore from Ambala at top speed and 3 minutes from Hasimara station in West Bengal to China border.
- Attack Capability
The Rafale jet is known for its attack capability and weapon holding capacity.
It is built with laser-guided bombs that can carry 9,500kg of explosives and munitions. The jets can fire 2500 rounds per minute from its internal cannon.
Furthermore, the Rafale can carry Hammer air-to-ground missile, the next-gen beyond visual range missile, Meteor missiles, and the Scalp missiles.
With the jets, IAF is now capable of striking enemy targets 600 km away without having to cross the Indian airspace.
- Quick-reaction deployment.
For quick-reaction deployment, Rafale can take off from high altitude airbases on a cold start. This means that India will be able to knock down bunkers, shelters, and other enemy targets in all terrains, including the mountainous locations.
At this time, when India is involved with border tensions with China, Rafale can be stationed at Eastern Ladakh for security. They will land and take off quickly from high altitude bases.
Also Read: Can India beat China in a border war?
The Rafale has proved its worth earlier in many conflicts. The French Air Force was engaged in multiple operations in Afghanistan and Libya, where the Rafale fighter aircraft proved to be extremely vital.