Escorted by two Su-30MKIs, five Rafale Jet of the batch has landed in the Ambala airbase on the Wednesday afternoon to be inducted in the IAF as part of its No 17 Squadron, also known as the ‘Golden Arrows’. To ensure maximum security, section 144 has been imposed prohibiting videography, photography, and gatherings of people more than four people in 3 km of the airbase.
Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria is there to receive the Rafale Jets in Ambala Air Base. Rafale jets covered nearly 7,000 km distance and reached Ambala at around 3 PM to join the Indian Air Force fleet. As per the sources, water salute will be given to the Rafale jets.
The birds took off on Monday from France with air-to-air refuelling and a single stop in the United Arab Emirates. The fleet comprises of three single-seater and two double seater aircraft.
“The Birds have landed safely in Ambala. The touch down of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History. These multirole aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the @IAF_MCC,” tweeted Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
“Welcome home ‘Golden Arrows’. Blue skies always. The Arrow formation (Rafales) was given ceremonial welcome by SU-30s,” tweeted Indian Air Force.
On 23 September, 2016, India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France worth Rs 59,000 crore for 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation. It has marked as India’s first major fighter jet acquisition in over two decades.