Paris, September 20: The Indian Air Force (IAF) received its first ‘acceptance’ Rafale combat aircraft from Dassault Aviation in France on Thursday. According to reports, Deputy Air Force Chief Air Marshal VR Chaudhary flew in the aircraft for around one hour. During the acceptance flight, all aircraft systems and its behaviour were checked. The IAF will officially receive the delivery of the first of 36 aircraft on October 8. The day of receiving Rafale jet also coincides with the Indian Air Force Day. Selfies on Rafale: French And IAF Pilots Take Pictures While Flying Rafale Jet, Sukhoi 30 MKI During Exercise Garuda 2019.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will travel to France to receive the delivery of the first Rafale fighter jet. Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar will also accompany Singh. However, the first batch of warplanes will start arriving in India only in May 2020 after refitment to Indian specifications and training of pilots and personnel. According to reports, 24 pilots from the IAF would be trained in three different batches for flying the Indian Rafales till May next year. Rafale Deal Row: French Minister JB Lemoyne Clears Air, Says 'Don't Bother About Controversies, We Just Want to Deliver'.
Indian Air Force (IAF) Sources: IAF received its first ‘acceptance’ Rafale combat aircraft from Dassault Aviation in France, yesterday. Deputy Air Force Chief Air Marshal VR Chaudhary also flew in the aircraft for around one hour. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/bzm0gwuVWd
— ANI (@ANI) September 20, 2019
The IAF will deploy one squadron each of the Rafale combat aircraft at its airbases in Ambala in Haryana and Hashimara in West Bengal. The Narendra Modi government signed a 7.8 billion Euro deal with France government in September 2016 to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets. As per reports, the tail number of the first Rafale aircraft delivered to India is RB-01. It is named after Indian Air Force Chief designate Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.