India has so far received 26 Rafale aircraft out of the 36 it has ordered from Dassault Aviation, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said Wednesday. “The delivery of 36 Rafale aircraft is proceeding as per schedule. As on date, a total of 26 aircraft have been accepted and ferried to India,” Mr Bhatt said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
The multi-role Rafale jets, built by French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, are known for air superiority and precision strikes. The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29, 2020, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 aircraft at a cost of ₹ 59,000 crore.
The Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia. The Rafale jet is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons. European missile maker MBDA”s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets.