French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain today said that he is proud to see 36 rafales with full equipment after all the ‘Rafales’ landed on Indian soil.
Taking to Twitter, Mr Lenain said, “Proud to see all 36 Rafales on India’s soil and fully equipped with India-specific enhancements.”
This statement came after the Indian Air Force tweeted, “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.”
Notably, India had signed a deal for 36 of these planes and 35 of them have already arrived and are stationed at Ambala, Haryana and Hashimara in West Bengal.
Senior defence officials said the 36th aircraft with RB tail number had been provided to the Indian side by France with all its spares and other parts replaced as it was being used for developmental activities.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has also started upgrading the planes to the highest standards and has been equipped with all India-specific enhancements.
The Rafale is a 4.5-generation aircraft and has helped India regain its supremacy over Indian sub-constituent skies with long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles along with advanced radar and electronic warfare capabilities.
The French firm Dassault Aviation is also involved in the maintenance of the aircraft whose serviceability is over 75 per cent.
The Rafale was inducted swiftly into the Indian Air Force at the peak of the conflict with China and started operating over Ladakh within a week of its arrival.
The IAF also quickly fired and operationalized the long-range Meteor air-to-air missiles as well as the Scalp air-to-ground missiles.
The IAF has also added the HAMMER missile to the Rafale’s arsenal as it was required for carrying out precision attacks at shorter distances.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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