Five Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale Jets operated by IAF pilots took off from Dassault Aviation Mérignac facility to ferry to Ambala Air Force Station for entering service in N0 17 Squadron “Golden Arrows”.
They are expected to arrive in their home base of Ambala on July 29.
After a complete training of Indian pilots and technicians by Dassault Aviation, with the French Air Force participation, the Indian Air Force will fully perform this first ferry, including an air-to-air refueling, with the dedicated support of the French Air Force.
Jawed Ashraf, Ambassador of the Republic of India in France, Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, congratulated the Indian Air Force team present in France since almost 3 years, for successful management of the program.
“I am strongly impressed by the amazing efficiency and determination of the Indian Air Force and Indian Ministry of Defense, despite this unprecedented world health crisis, to master rapidly all aspects of the Rafale for comforting Indian sovereignty and contributing to the protection and security of Indian people,” stated Eric Trappier.
This first ferry testifies that the program is running smoothly and that deliveries are on time in spite of COVID-19 pandemic.
It initiates the induction of the Rafale in the Indian Air Force, in the frame of the contract of 36 aircraft, and paves the way to fulfill the present and future needs and requirements of the Government of India, a Dasssault statement said.