NEW DELHI: Three extra French-origin Rafale fighters are slated to the touch down in India, after mid-air refueling by tankers of France and UAE, on Wednesday evening.
The three new jets will add to the 17 such omni-role fighters, which have a fight vary of 780-km to 1,650-km with out mid-air refueling, already delivered to India.
IAF will get all of the 36 twin-engine Rafales, contracted beneath the Rs 59,000 crore deal inked with France in September 2016, by subsequent yr.The first Rafale squadron, 17 `Golden Arrows’ Squadron, is already operational on the Ambala airbase. The second, 101 `Falcons’ Squadron, in flip, will now come up on the Hasimara airbase in West Bengal, as was reported by TOI earlier.
The four.5-generation Rafales are armed with lengthy stand-off weapons just like the over 300-km vary `Scalp’ air-to-ground cruise missiles. The fighters are additionally being outfitted with the top-notch Meteor air-to-air missiles, which with a strike vary of 120 to 150-km can outgun any missile that may presently be unleashed by Pakistani or Chinese jets.
IAF has additionally ordered the “Hammer” air-to-ground precision-guided munitions for the Rafales, in a deal that got here final yr amidst the continuing navy confrontation with China in japanese Ladakh.
With a strike vary of 20 to 70-km, the Hammer munitions are designed to destroy bunkers, hardened shelters and different targets in all terrains, together with the mountainous one in Ladakh.