The second batch of Rafale fighter jets arrived in India on Wednesday after flying non-stop from France, the Indian Air Force announced. The aircraft boosts the capability of the country with its armaments.
On July 29, the first batch of five Rafale jets, three single seater and two twin seater aircraft landed at the Ambala air base from France. The five fighter aircraft had covered a distance of 7,000 km with air-to-air refuelling, with a single stop in the United Arab Emirates.
The formal induction ceremony of the first batch of jets into Indian Air Force 17 Squadron was held at the Ambala Air Force station on September 10. France Defence Minister Florence Parly had also attended the ceremony.
The Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in over two decades. It comes four years after the Narendra Modi government signed a deal with France for a total of 36 units, as part of a Rs 59,000-crore agreement.
The deal had become a major political issue during the Lok Sabha election campaign last year. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, among others, had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of treason and corruption multiple times, and alleged that he had acted as a middleman for industrialist Anil Ambani in the deal.