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Second batch of Rafale fighter jets from France to arrive in India in October

The formal induction ceremony of the first 5 Rafale fighters is to be held at the Ambala Air Station on 10 September.

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New Delhi: The second batch of Rafale fighter jets — likely to be four in number — is set to arrive at the Ambala Air Force Station in October as part of the Rs 59,000-crore deal with the French government, ThePrint has learnt.

These will land here after the formal induction ceremony of the first five Rafale fighters, which is to be held on 10 September. The ceremony would be attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his French counterpart Florence Parly.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said the French defence minister has already confirmed her presence.

Sources said once the ceremony is done, the next set of Rafale fighters would arrive in October. The next set of fighters, which are likely to be four in number, will arrive in the country in October,” a source said.

Five Rafale jets, including two twin-seaters, had landed on 29 July at the Ambala Air Force Station, home of the first squadron of the French fighters.

They had flown 8,500 km from Merignac in France, with a stopover in UAE. 

The Rafales

Known as the 4.5 generation aircraft, the Rafale is considered to be one of the finest fighters in the world and is described as an ‘omnirole’ aircraft that can take up several missions on a single flight. 

While India had ordered 36 Rafale fighters in 2016, the numbers are just too small for the IAF, which at present has a strength of 31 squadrons as against the sanctioned one of 42 Squadrons.

Even though the IAF is supposed to come out with a Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) 2.0 for 114 fighters, work on it has been rather slow with a formal tender yet to be issued.

ThePrint had reported that this tender could take time and the main focus right now is to firm up the order of 83 LCA Tejas Mk 1A.

Meanwhile, talks of additional 36 Rafale fighters have also been doing the rounds for long in defence corridors. 

Also read: Bipin Rawat gave LAC threat but India must hit China where it hurts the most


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  1. When it comes to weapons or fighter jets, quantity is important but quality is far more important. Rafale is a very high quality fighter jet and it comes with impeccable set of weapons. It may act as a guide and protector of other Indian fighter jets like SU30 or Mig 29 and work as force multiplier. I am sure IAF is not abandon its variety of jets and utilize Rafale in that mix. Just having 42 squadron of ordinary jets will not help at all.

  2. If France could deliver in half the time, we should procure another 36, and it will sent shivers in porkistan and china !!!

  3. Who is there in the IAF to fight Pak and China in future war. We don’t have brave and courages pilots like 1971 war hero Flying Officer K.P.Muralidharan MIA whom the IAF bileatedly and repeatly recommanded Maha Vir Chakra posthumously. But govt endorses Time Bar for bravery and no awards. What a shame and absurd reply to a war hero.How can other soldiers can be motivated. What our IAF Chief and the CDS have to say. If they have no answer please resign and go. Hope our P.M will look into this matter urgently so that October 8 is IAF Day and we are expecting a good new so that this poor soldier gets his pending dues by giving him his award. jai hind.

    • War isn’t won by bravery, it is won by logistics, efficient gear and outsmarting the enemy, but, overall, by logistics!!! Usually, the brave heroes soon die, those who are being cautious and sneaky and smart, they live to fight another day while providing constant punishment… Modern warfare is not hero job, it’s highly skilled professional work. Just think about it : USMC has a 87:1 kill ratio, French Foreign Legion is said being around 120:1… There’s no more heroism, it’s more like working in a slaughterhouse for the boots, others push a button and a house or maybe a full village explodes on the other side of the planet! Rafale can hit any point in Pakistan without entering the country, even the Russians couldn’t detect either its cruise missiles nor the aircraft in Syria. If India procures the upcoming Kh-101 from Russia, Rafale will be able to strike anything in China w.o. leaving India. Only Russian heavy bombers will carry it, but Rafale has 3 hardpoints each able to carry 4 tons. If it takes off with half internal fuel, it can carry 12 tons and do the fuel complement at an air-tanker. 12 Rafale-M operatng from the DeGaulle CVN did 80% of the job of an US super-carrier in Libya, the 12 aircraft demolished height S-200 battalions (192 launchers, 5 radars each) only with gliding bombs! US would launch about 250-300 Tomahawks to do this, they wouldn’t had risked their F-22, F-117 or B-2 : Libyan S-200 had anti-stealth radars! This machine is simply terrifying, but pilots are no more skies’ knights, they are death from above…

  4. Dassault did not stand guarantee for HAL workman ship that’s why nda govt bought 36 rafales in a fly away condition and dassault agreed to give offsets to tata advanced systems,L & T.

    • It’s worse than this! HAL wanted 2.7x more than the price of a Rafale built in France to build these!!! The flyaway cost of a Rafale-C is $71M, not 191M! Even USA only paid $150M per F-22 (thus, with the R&D, due to the small order taken, they end costing $345M/unit)! HAL also doubles the price of Su-30 compared to the Russian made ones and they don’t even build these : they come in advanced kits, HAL only does the final assembly! Tejas Mk1A just receives a new radar and some minor upgrades… From $23M for Tejas Mk1, HAL wants $67M for Mk1A, hey, Rafale’s combat systems cost “only” about €20M and they’re WAY more advanced and costly than the little AESA Israeli radar HAL adds to Mk1A.
      HAL even wanted to make any Rafale bolt locally while not even be equipped to produce the necessary advance composite materials!
      Maybe Russia, who has state-held arms factories, can allow itself to guarantee others assembly job since they deliver advanced kits, but you will NEVER find ANY sane private company enough insane to guarantee the quality of another company licence building its products!

  5. Let’s hope the very best for a nation that faces concerns and challenges on several fronts, be it political, diplomatic, internal unrest and external threat or parochialism. Let India collect the bits, pieces and fractions and permute them into an integer whole.

  6. What’s the point in raising so much noise about Rafale knowing pretty well that PLA are firmly entrenched deep inside India for last 6 months & have explicitly told us that they have no intention to leave & when our greatest Hero had ruled out such possibilities and firmly confirmed that ‘no one.intruded our country & no post has fallen ‘thereby playing music to our enemies & our military has fully lost any motivation to fight are totally confused?

  7. The central has all the intelligence of what be done..we count on Them to take on china and Pakistan…it may need HAL or Rafale or any other Indigenous…Buy we need to be quick is all we care.

  8. With just 36 Rafaels , India cannot recapture GALWAN VALLEY from Chinese……126 Rafaels are needed……In national Interest, Modi should sell his BMWs , and VVIP Plane latest 2020 Model Boeing 777 AIR INDIA ONE……and make do with ambassador car and 40 year vintage MIG-21 lovingly called FLYING COFFINS.

  9. Let us quickly finalise a deal for assembly at HAL for the next 36 before it becomes too late.
    Revive the old UPA Rafale deal.

    • It would never happen. Rafale has a tie-up with Reliance Defense in India and they also have a manufacturing facility here. Old deal will simply be unaffordable!

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