New Delhi, July 28: The Rafale fighter jets, developed by French defence manufacturer Dassault Aviations, are on the way to India. The first batch of five aircraft took off from Bordeaux in France on Tuesday, and is expected to reach Ambala on Wednesday. Enroute, before a stopover in UAE, the jets were refueled mid-air by the French Air Force Tanker.

Breathtaking pictures of the refueling of jets were shared by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian embassy in France. The shots were captured at 30,000 feet above the earth's surface. Rafale Landing in India Tomorrow, Section 144 Imposed in 4 Villages Closer to Ambala Airbase.

See Pics Shared by IAF

Few Shots From 30,000 Feet!'

Rafale jets are the first offshore built fighter aircraft to be inducted into the IAF in the last 23 years. The previous occasion when foreign-built elite jets were acquired by the Indian forces date back to 1997, when the Russian Sukhoi-30 jets were inducted into service.

The deal for Rafale jets was finalised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his first tenure. At a cost of Rs 59,000 crores, India agreed at procuring 36 fighter jets from the French defence company.

The delivery of all jets would be completed by 2022, as the Indian pilots are undergoing training at Merignac in southwest France. The induction of first batch of jets comes amid a 12-week stand-off between the Indian forces and their Chinese counterparts at the Ladakh border.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 28, 2020 07:18 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website