India took delivery of three more Rafale fighter jets as the second batch flew in non-stop from France.
The Indian Air Force announced that the fighter aircraft arrived at Jamnagar airbase in Gujarat. With the induction of the three aircraft, the IAF will have eight Rafale jets in service now.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at an estimated cost of US$9 billion. The induction of all 36 jets will be completed by 2023, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria has said.
The agreement also covers weapon systems for the aircraft, supply of spare parts and maintenance for five years and performance-based logistics. Out of 36 Rafale jets, 30 will be fighters and six will be trainer aircraft. The trainer jets will be twin-seater with almost all the features of the fighter jets.
MBDA’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the weapons package.
The first batch of five jets had arrived in India on July 29. That time, the jets had re-fueled midair and made a stopover at Al-Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates.
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