Three more Rafale fighters were expected to touch down in India from France on Wednesday night, which will add to the 11 omni-role jets already inducted by the IAF.
The three Rafales were refuelled mid-air by Airbus MRTT tankers of the UAE Air Force, in yet another indication of close military ties with the Gulf country, during their over 7,000-km flight to the Jamnagar airbase.
Another five Rafales will land in India towards end-April. The IAF will get all the 36 twin-engine Rafales, contracted under the Rs 59,000 crore deal inked with France in September 2016, by next year. The first Rafale squadron, 17 `Golden Arrows’ Squadron, is already operational at the Ambala airbase. The second, 101 `Falcons’ Squadron, will now come up at the Hasimara airbase in West Bengal.