Three additional Rafale fighter jets landed on Indian soil after a direct ferry from Istres Air Base in France.
“Rafales were refueled in-flight by U.A.E. Air Force tankers. This marks yet another milestone in the strong relationship between the two Air Forces. Thank You U.A.E. AF,” the Indian Air Force said in a statement.
In January, third batch of Rafales were also refueled in mid-air by U.A.E. Airbus MRTT tankers.
IAF has now inducted 15 Rafales out of the ordered 36, nearly $8 billion (INR 59,000 Crore) contract for which was signed in 2016. All the remaining jets will be delivered to the Air Force by the end of 2022.
The 4.5-generation fighters have a combat range of 780-1650km without mid-air refueling. IAF Rafales come armed with weapons such as 300km-range Scalp air-to-ground cruise missiles, Meteor air-to-air missiles with strike range of 120-150km, and Hammer air-to-ground precision-guided munitions with strike range of 20-70km.