New Delhi: India is expected to get the first consignment of six Rafale warplanes by 27 July. These aircraft will significantly increase the combat capability of the Indian Air Force. People familiar with the incident gave this information. The air force has been on alert for the past two weeks following military skirmishes with China in the Galvan Valley of eastern Ladakh. In that skirmish, 20 Indian Army soldiers were killed. Both the armies have been facing to face in that area for seven weeks.
On June 2, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with French counterpart Florence Perley. In the conversation, he said that despite the Corona virus epidemic, Rafale jets will be supplied to India on schedule. Military officials, requesting anonymity, said the arrival of Rafale aircraft would greatly enhance the overall combat capability of the Indian Air Force and would be a clear message to India’s “opponents”. The Indian Air Force did not comment when asked about this.
The first squadron of the aircraft will be stationed at the Ambala station of the Air Force, which is considered to be one of the strategically important bases for the Indian Air Force.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of approximately Rs 58,000 crore. This aircraft is capable of carrying many powerful weapons. This includes the Metor missile of European missile manufacturer MBDA.
The second squadron of Rafale planes will be stationed at the Hasimara base in West Bengal. In this regard, the Air Force has spent about Rs 400 crore for the development of infrastructure at both the bases. These 36 Rafale aircraft will have 30 combat aircraft while six will be training aircraft.
It is noteworthy that the Congress had questioned the deal regarding the prices of the aircraft and alleged corruption etc., but the government rejected those allegations.