A fresh batch of three Rafale fighters landed in India, taking the total number of these jets in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF) to 18.
On Wednesday, IAF tweeted, “Three Rafale aircraft arrived in India a short while ago, after a direct ferry from Istres Air Base, France. IAF deeply appreciates the support by UAE Air Force for in-flight refuelling during the non-stop ferry.”
IAF has now inducted 18 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. Among 36 aircraft, 30 will be fighter jets and six will be trainers.
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.