Rafael jets enter Indian airspace, welcomed by Navy warship.
Five Rafael jets enter the Indian airspace and receive a warm welcome by Navy warship in the Arabian Sea. The Rafael jets are on their way to Ambala airbase to join the Indian Air Force fleet. They took off from France the day before yesterday and took a halt in UAE in their nearly 7,000 km long journey.
After entering into the Western Arabian Sea, the Indian Rafael contingent made contact with the Navy warship INS Kolkata. Navy warship INS Kolkata welcomed the Rafael contingent through a radio message. INS Kolkata Delta 63 welcomes the Rafael contingent saying, “Arrow leader (flying Rafale), welcome to the Indian Ocean.”
Responding to INS Kolkata, the Rafael leader says, “Many thanks. Most reassuring to have an Indian warship guarding the sea.” INS Kolkata then wishes the leader flying Rafael for safe landing, “May you touch the sky with glory. Happy landing.” The Rafael leader too wishes the INS Kolkata warship saying, “Wish you fair winds. Happy hunting. Over and out.”
Touchdown in Ambala.
The five Rafael jets will soon arrive at Ambala airbase. The security around the Ambala airbase has been beefed by the Haryana government. The Rafael contingent will be inducted in the resurrected Golden Arrows No. 17 Squadron of the IAF. It will be stationed at the Ambala airbase in Haryana.
This is the first batch of five jets coming from France. The Rafael contingent took off from the Merignac airbase in French port city of Bordeaux. The five jets are covering a distance of 7000 kms making just a single stop in the UAE. Out of the five jets, three of them are single-seater and the other two are twin-seater.
According to the deal between India and France, France is supposed to deliver 36 Rafael jets to India. India is purchasing 36 Rafael jets under a Rs 59,000 crore deal. The IAF will receive the rest of the Rafael jets by the end of next year. Out of the 36 Rafael jets, 30 will be fighter jets and 3 will be trainers.