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5 Rafale Jets Reach India: India eyes Enemies with Rafale Jets touching Ambala Airbase

Rafale Fighter jet is claimed to have an ‘omnirole’ capability which enables it to carry out several actions at a time like firing air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles at a very low altitude and similar functions. The 'sky ruler' is competent in Air-defence/air-superiority, Reconnaissance, close air support dynamic targeting, Air-to-ground precision strike/interdiction, anti-ship attacks, nuclear deterrence, and buddy-buddy refuelling.

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5 Rafale Fighter jets reach India from France, Rafale in Ambala, Rafale jets total delivery, Rajnath Singh on rafale
Rafale Fighter/Part of Image tweeted by IAF

Rafale, a twin-engine multi-role combat aircraft manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation, landed on the Indian soil while making every Indian’s chest swell with pride on Wednesday, July 29. Rafale Fighter jet is claimed to have an ‘omnirole’ capability which enables it to carry out several actions at a time like firing air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles at a very low altitude and similar functions. The ‘sky ruler’ is competent in Air-defence/air-superiority, Reconnaissance, close air support dynamic targeting, Air-to-ground precision strike/interdiction, anti-ship attacks, nuclear deterrence, and buddy-buddy refuelling. The aircraft is also fitted with an On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS) which dodges the need of ground support for oxygen Production.

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In 2011, after the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted the technical and flight evaluations with a vision to revamp its IAF fleets with Multi-role Combat Aircrafts, Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon met its criteria. The following year, 2012, Rafale was declared L-1 bidder and the negotiations with Dassault began. Due to disagreements on various aspects of the deal including cost related issues, the contract negotiations stood incomplete even after two years in 2014. Transfer of Technology had been the major barrier between the two parties since Dassault was not willing to take the responsibility of the quality of the aircrafts if it were to be made in India.

While initially the terms of the deal met multiple disagreements, in 2016, both the parties landed on a common ground and the contract was finalised at lesser cost than first proposed and with better clauses. The France Government also agreed to support and take into consideration the ‘Make in India’ motto and dealt accordingly. The aircrafts were estimated to be ready in 3 years. Not only had India signed a deal worth 7.87 Billion Euros for 36 Rafale aircrafts but was also promised latest weapons like Meteor and Scalp Missiles as a part of the deal.

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The following year, 2017, Rahul Gandhi accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Government of promoting its ‘crony capitalist friends’, pointing out Anil Ambani, at the cost of the Defence Public Sector unit. He alleged that the deal did not cater to their needs and would result in an insurmountable loss. Rahul Gandhi took the matter to the Supreme Court against the running Government, to which the verdict was passed in favour of PM Narendra Modi on December 14, 2018 which said that the opposition’s petition lacked merit and that there was nothing to doubt in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

From 2012 to present, after countless speed breakers, the first batch of Rafale jets consisting 5 aircrafts, is finally here, which departed France on July 27 and landed in Ambala on Wednesday, July 29. For security reasons, Section 144 is imposed in Ambala, which prohibits assembly of 4 or more people in the district. People are also prohibited to fly private drones within 3kms of the airbase. The fleet of aircrafts were received by Chief of Air Staff, Marshal RKS Bhadauria. After the fleet entered the Indian Airspace, two Sukhoi 30 MKIs were spotted along with the first 5 Rafale jets.

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The jets that took off from al Dhafra in UAE at 11am IST on Wednesday, July 29, were estimated to land in Ambala by 2pm the same day. Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh, expressed his excitement through a tweet. “The birds have entered the Indian Airspace…Happy Landing in Ambala.” read the tweet by Singh with shots of the 7 flights mid-air.

In a series of statements, Rajnath Singh showcased his gratitude towards PM Modi’s decision regarding these aircrafts that will boost the combat capability of IAF and his appreciation towards Dassault that ensured timely delivery of the jets.

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“The Rafale jets were purchased only because PM Shri Narendra Modi took the right decision to get these aircrafts through an Inter-Governmental Agreement with France, after the long pending procurement case for them could not progress. I thank him for his courage and decisiveness,” he said while commending the efforts by PM Modi in making Rafale deal a reality.

“I also thank the French Government, Dassault Aviation and other French companies for ensuring the timely delivery of the aircraft and its weapons, despite the severe restrictions posed by Covid-19 pandemic.” he further added.

While congratulating the IAF, Singh wrote, “I congratulate the IAF on a professionally executed ferry. I am sure that 17 Squadron, the Golden Arrows, will continue to live up to their motto of ‘Udayam Ajasram’. I am extremely happy that IAF’s combat capability has got a timely boost.” in favour of the Rafale jets.

He further stated, “This aircraft has very good flying performance and its weapons, radar and other sensors and Electronic Warfare capabilities are amongst the best in the world. Its arrival in India will make the IAF much stronger to deter any threat that may be posed on our country.”

Singh later on added, “I would like to add, if it is anyone who should be worried about or critical about this new capability of the Indian Air Force, it should be those who want to threaten our territorial integrity.”

Rafale successfully landed in Ambala at 3:14 pm IST on Wednesday. The Defence Minister shared a video clip showing the touchdown of Rafale jets in Ambala where they will be stationed with its strategic accomplishments.

Post landing, Rajnath Singh, again tweeted, “The birds have landed safely in Ambala. The touchdown 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.”

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