The first five Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafales took off from Dassault Aviation Facility, Merignac, France, on Monday morning. These five include three single seater and two twin seater aircraft. The ferry of the aircraft is planned in two stages and will be undertaken by the pilots of the IAF, who have undergone comprehensive training on the aircraft.
The Air to Air Refuelling planned during the first leg of the ferry was undertaken by these pilots with dedicated tanker support from the French Air Force. The aircraft are likely to arrive at Air Force Station, Ambala, on July 29, 2020 subject to weather. No 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”, is being raised at this base equipped with Rafale aircraft. Rafale Jet Designed For Indian Air Force Takes First Flight in France.
Here Are Some Features of The Rafale Jet:
- Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation.
- Rafale is designed to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions.
- The aircraft is also referred to as an “omnirole”.
- Many of the aircraft’s avionics and features, such as direct voice input, the RBE2 AA active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar were developed and produced domestically by France.
- Rafale is categorised as 4.5 generation aircraft.
- Rafale’s primary flight controls are arranged in a hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS)-compatible configuration.
- The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006.
In 2016, India signed a deal with the France government to procure 36 Rafale jets in a “ready to fly” condition. The entire deal was worth Rs 59,000 crore. According to the deal, 75 percent Rafale fleet will always be operational. Experts believe that the induction of Rafale jet could be a “game changer” in the region. The Rafale jets will be inducted into “Golden Arrows” 17 Squadron of the IAF.