A replica of a Rafale jet on display outside the Indian Air Force chief's residence, near the Congress party's headquarters in New Delhi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
A replica of a Rafale jet on display outside the Indian Air Force chief's residence, near the Congress party's headquarters in New Delhi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The official residence of Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa in Delhi has a new attraction: A scaled-down model of the Rafale fighter jet armed to the teeth.

The Akbar Road residence is located just opposite the headquarters of the Congress party, which had made alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal one of its major pitches to corner the Narendra Modi government during the campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The model was preceded by a likeness of the Su-30MKI.

IAF sources told ThePrint that the Rafale model was placed outside Dhanoa’s residence a month ago. They denied it had anything to do with election results.

The Rafale model outside the IAF chief’s house comes with two fuselage-mounted Meteor missiles, two wing-tip MICA missiles, a centreline drop tank, and two under-wing drop tanks, besides a French precision-guided munition.


Also read: Break-in at IAF’s Paris office handling Rafale procurement, cops probe espionage angle


‘A game-changer’

Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa has defended the Rafale amid the opposition onslaught over the deal, calling it a “game-changer” for the IAF that would tilt the balance of power back in India’s favour.

“IAF is about to get two squadrons of Rafale. Rafale has the capability that no enemy can interfere in the air operations, which is a big thing. It will come and change the balance back to us,” he had said recently.

IAF sources said the model was supplied by Dassault, as manufacturers did under any other contract. The first model of the Rafale was put up inside the Air Headquarters: A fully-loaded Rafale is the first thing one sees as they step through the gates of the heavily- guarded Air Headquarters.

“The second model has come up at the chief’s house,” one of the sources said.

India inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 59,000 crore.

The first of the 36 Rafales will be handed over to the IAF in September.


Also read: French Rafales to go up against Russian MiGs for first time in India-France naval war game


This report has been updated to correct the description of the model size, from “full scale” to “scaled down”.

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27 Comments Share Your Views

27 COMMENTS

  1. It is too early to jump to the conclusion in the Rafale scam as the case still in Supreme Court. The PM Modi government is requesting the SC again and again not to go into further details to investigate and not ready to disclose the price of the jets even to the SC and also not given valid reasons for increasing the price of the deal from 5.2 billion Euros to 8.2 billion Euros despite objections, and removed anti-corruptions clauses from the Rafale deal, to do what? To allow the corruption freely? These serious questions and others asked by SC should be answered by PM Modi govt. without any conditions, delay and without any pretext to hide the information behind secrecy game otherwise this can be proved the largest scam in the history of India.

  2. Rafale was selected by UPA. No doubt it is good fighter aircraft. I would have preferred Tejas, our own designed and developed fighter.

  3. Why is this news? It’s normal to have scaled down of planes. Now it is the latest acquisition, that’s all. Elections are over guys, go back to your holes.

  4. Mr nagarajan pl talk to surjewala. Rahul is adamant to quit as party chief. U are a fit candidate for Congress president. Best of luck.

  5. I dont understand y b after rafale as whole life or 5 yrs go on pulling one anothers tail instead of spending instead of spending on ppls welfare for which bjp is selected

  6. With incompetent pilots who let down badly to PAF and assembling the plane in organization which has no previous experience in avaiation let alone assembling high tech Rafale, will IAF able to stand against PAF even with those Rafales

  7. जब एक पार्टी का नेता झूठे मूठ का राफेल डिल पर विवाद खड़ा कर सकता है ,तो Chief of IAF अगर एक राफेल का एक मॉडल लगा दिया तो क्या ग़लत है।

  8. I would suggest to the Indian Air chief to fabricate and install same model of JF.17 Thunder as well to memorize the Fe.27,2019

  9. This is poor vision and action by IAF Chief B.S.Dhanoa. He is playing at the hands of the politicians to please them for personal benefits after retirement in September 2019.
    These politicians specially PM & HM are not going to reward him.
    Look at Sh.Raj Nath Singh who is made no three from two.
    Modi became PM only when Sh.Raj Nath Singh was BJP President of BJP and he proposed his name for next PM in 2013.
    Services staff shouldn’t get fooled by ambitious act.
    Marshall of IAF late Arjan Singh was the best CAS and did wonders being Chief and after retirement he remembered.
    Arrears which got after being promoted to Marshall were donated for welfare of the IAF families.
    Jai Hind , Jai Jawan

  10. Every military officer wants to be buried in the government expenditure. In india Dhanoa is the first officer who talked about fighter ket to the press supporting Modi. After retirement Dhanoa will be minister for Indian Air Force as VK Singh was minister for Doklam. Jahajit Singh Aurora dubdued East Pakistan without sophisticated fighter jets. Now all chiefs of Staff have become cheaper than the worst politicians.

  11. An action wrongly interpreted. No one has an opposition for the Rafale Deal. Rafale was selected first by Congress and the deal was carried out. But what was questioned was the commercial aspects. They are still under enquiry. in the court. So the action of the Airforce official should not be interpreted in a wrong way. The press or the airforce official should stop any allegations in bad light.

  12. Childish behaviour by a serving senior officer. Could have been avoided especially since the ‘ message’ has been hammered home by the electorate

  13. @Hasan: Pakistant Air Force is nothing more than a group of Insects call TIDDI here in our country. You all never feel ashamed That India is your ancestors land too and you just make fool yourself by spreading negativity about such holy land. You will not be aware about the fact how OT respect we have about river Indus and James covered by this great river.

  14. Air Chief Dhanoa, under whose tenure Q1. “Contract for 126 Rafaels reduced to 36” Q2. No TOT TRANSFER-OF-TECHNOLOGY for Rafaels, he has weakened IAF Indian Airforce in the Rafaels New Contract by NDA in 2015.

  15. @hasan Don’t bother too much: We have been seeing the fearlessness and understood what Cat you guys belong. And Regarding the Rafale replica its IAFs wish as they want to display their new family member nothing wrong with it. Don’t judge just for the sake of judging

  16. Very cheap popularity stunt by chief of IAF. He will be next BJP condidate the day he retires. This is the level of our forces chief have come to. That is why shoot their own Helicopter and remain mum during election time. Very very SAD story for the country.

  17. Display of poor form by a serving Chief. There is an obvious political statement behind this model being erected, and that makes it all the more shameful.
    Dhanoa is obviously angling for a gubernatorial or ambassadorial rehab on retirement.

  18. Indian air force can acquire 1000 Rafale fighter air crafts but where is it going to get from fighter pilots who can match the Pakistan air force fearless Shaheens, the best fighter pilots in the world ?

    • Such cute little innocent Pakistanis. Happily believing they have such good pilots that they don’t even need fighter jets.
      A paki Shaheen fighter with a parachute is enough to handle a Rafale squadron with his pistol and by grace of Allah !

  19. What’s a big deal. Congress iniated the step to purchase and manufacture Rafale. Doubts were created by some MP from BJP which included Yashwant Sinha who is now one of the petitioner in the case pending in SC. The deal got slowed down and when govt changed it changed the deal. Congres has not questioned the capacity of Rafale neither wants it to be scrapped, they are questioning the losses and favour to AA at the cost of HAL

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