India welcomed the arrival of the first batch of five Rafale jets at the Indian Air Force Base in Ambala on 29th July 2020. Rafales were escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs and greeted in the Indian Ocean by the Indian Naval Warship INS Kolkata. Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria received the fleet at Ambala. The five fighter aircraft, which were flown by Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots, arrived in India after covering a distance of 7,000 km with air-to-air refuelling and a single stop in the United Arab Emirates. The aircraft will be officially inducted into the IAF in the second half of August.
Rafale will resurrect the Number 17 Golden Arrows squadron of the Indian Air Force. It will take the IAF’s Arrows squadron strength to 31. The state-of-the-art 4.5 Generation Rafale jet can reach almost double the speed of sound, with a top speed of 1.8 Mach.
The Dassault Rafale, literally meaning “gust of wind”, and “burst of fire” in a more military sense is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions.