Sunday, September 9, 2018

Indian Air Force Quietly Prepares To Receive Rafale Jets

IAF quietly prepares to receive Rafale jets

In the middle of a politically aware firestorm over the Rafale jet deal, the IAF (Indian Air Force) is gently making preparations, including arranging required infrastructure and exercise(TRAINING) of pilots, to welcome the fighter aircraft, IAF official sources said. Official Sources said that the IAF is sending a batch of pilots by the end of this year to France for training on Rafale jets.

A number of Indian Air force teams have already visited to France to help Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of Rafale, incorporate India-specific enhancements on-board the fighter aircraft. Sources said Dassault Aviation had already started test flight of the fighter jets to be supplied to India and the company had been told to strictly adhere to the timeline for delivery of the aircraft. The jets will come with various India-specific modifications, including Israeli helmet-mounted displays, radar warning receivers, low band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, infra-red search and tracking systems among others.

In September 2016, India had inked a deal with France to procure 36 Rafale jets at ~58,000 crore

The delivery is scheduled in September next year and will be completed in 67 months from date of pact

IAF pilots have already trained on the jets in France and will again go there by the year-end, say sources

First squadron is likely to be deployed in Ambala, second at Hasimara in West Bengal

IAF quietly prepares to receive Rafale jets

The Congress Party in India has raised many questions about this Rafale Jet deal, including rates of the aircraft, while the government has rejected the charges. Officials said the government had already sanctioned around Rs 400 crore to develop required infrastructure like shelters, hangars and maintenance facilities at the two bases. France had been regularly briefing India about progress in the project to supply the jets. 

In July last year, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, during his France visit, flew a Rafale jet at the Saint-Dizier airbase to gain a first-hand experience of the aircraft. According to this deal related to the Refale Jet, the transfer of the jets will start in 36 months and will be completed in 67 months from the date the contract was inked.

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