India is set to receive a new batch of Rafale fighter jets next month amid ongoing border tensions with China.
According to an ANI report, three to four Rafale jets will land at the Ambala base in the state of Haryana by the first week of November.
The report quoted a government official as saying: “The second batch of 3-4 Rafale fighter jets would be arriving in India by first week of November from France and preparations are on for their arrival in the country.
“With the induction of these aircraft, the Indian Air Force (IAF) would have eight-nine fighter aircraft, which will be operationalised within a few days in view of the ongoing situation.”
The first batch of five jets arrived in India in July and was formally inducted into the IAF last month. Following the induction, the five aircraft became part of the ‘Golden Arrows’ 17 Squadron.
India has also deployed this multi-role aircraft in the ongoing military standoff with China.
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Notably, India signed deals to procure 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation. One Rafale combat aircraft squadron will be based in Ambala in Haryana and the other will be in Hashimara, West Bengal, to support India’s western and eastern fronts.
Currently, a team led by Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Projects) Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari is in France to review the procurement. Indian pilots are also being trained in France to operate these Rafale fighter jets, a programme expected to continue until March next year.
Last month, Greece also announced plans to purchase 18 Rafale jets.