The second batch of three Rafale jets arrived at Jamnagar airbase in Gujarat on Wednesday evening after flying non-stop from France, the Indian Air Force said.
With the induction of these three aircraft, the IAF has eight Rafale fighter jets in service now.
The IAF said the three Rafale fighter jets took off from a French airbase and reached India after three mid-air refuelling en-route. “The fighter jet took over 8 hours to reach directly from France, showcasing the long-range operational capability of the Air Force,” it added.
The first batch of five French-origin fighter jet aircraft had arrived in India on July 28 and was officially inducted on September 10.
The IAF will deploy one squadron each of the Rafale combat aircraft at its airbases in Ambala in Haryana and Hasimara in West Bengal.
The Rafale fighters have already been operationalised and have also been deployed in the conflict zone of Ladakh in the short duration of time they have been with the Air Force.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of these aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
After the induction of the first batch of Rafale aircraft, Union defence Minister Rajnath Singh had termed the Rafale deal as a game-changer. “I am confident that our air force has acquired a technological edge with Rafale,” Rajnath Singh had said.
Rafale fighter jet is a 4.5 generation aircraft and has the latest weapons, superior sensors and fully integrated architecture. It is an Omni-role aircraft which means it can carry out at least four missions in one sortie.
The fighter aircraft have HAMMER missiles. It will also be armed with beyond visual range missiles like Meteor, SCALP and MICA, increasing their ability to take on incoming targets from a very long distance.