New Delhi: Amid increasing tensions with China, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday said that the last of the 36 IAF Rafale fighter aircraft has landed in India.
“Feet dry! ‘The Pack is Complete’. The last of the 36 IAF Rafales landed in India after a quick enroute sip from a UAE Air Force tanker. (sic),” the IAF said in a tweet.
'The Pack is Complete'
The last of the 36 IAF Rafales landed in India after a quick enroute sip from a UAE Air Force tanker.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 15, 2022
With the landing of the final Rafale aircraft, the delivery of all Rafale fighters from France is complete.
The first batch of five Rafale jets had arrived at the Air Force Station in Ambala in July 2020. The IAF formally inducted the aircraft on September 10, 2020 in a ceremony at Air Force Station, Ambala.
India and France had signed the inter-government agreement in 2016, under which Paris agreed to provide 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of Rs 60,000 crore to New Delhi.
“The Rafale deal was a game changer for India’s national security and its induction is a strong message for the world and especially for those who challenge India’s sovereignty,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said at the time.
In a bid to showcase bilateral and defence ties, Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Marshal VR Chaudhari was seen flying an IAF’s Rafale fighter jet, while French Air chief Gen Stéphane Mille took off in an Indian Russian-origin Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft during ‘Garuda VIl’ bilateral exercise in Jodhpur, last month.