The fifth batch of Rafale fighter aircraft arrived in India on Wednesday flying a distance of more than 8,000 km from Merignac Air Base in France.
The Indian Air force thanked the French and UAE air forces for their refueling support to complete the journey.
“After a direct ferry from MerignacAirBase, France, the fifth batch of Rafales arrived in India on April 21. The fighters flew a distance of almost 8,000 km with air-to-air refuelling support by Armee_de_lair and UAE AF. IAF thanks both the Air Forces for their co-operation” Indian Air Force Twitted.
After a direct ferry from #MerignacAirBase, France, the 5th batch of Rafales arrived in India on 21 Apr. The fighters flew a distance of almost 8,000Kms with air-to-air refuelling support by @Armee_de_lair and UAE AF. IAF thanks both the Air Forces for their co-operation. pic.twitter.com/jp81vODCp2
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) April 21, 2021
Earlier, the aircrafts were flagged off from the Merignac airbase in France by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, who is on a visit to France.
The Rafale aircraft batch started joining the IAF fleet in the July-August timeframe last year and was quickly operationalized by the Air Force.
These aircraft had also been deployed for patrolling along the China front in Eastern Ladakh and other fronts during the height of the China confrontation.
The planes equipped with the Hammer missiles have enhanced their capability to carry out air-to-ground strikes like the one in Balakot.