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India to get three more Raphael Jets next month

 New Delhi, 28 December (FastMail) - Struggling with a shortage of fighter jets, the Indian Air Force is set to receive three more fighter jets from France in the third batch early this year. After the arrival of this batch of three aircraft, the Air Force engaged in the preparations for 'Two Front War' will have 11 Rafale.


The Government of India had struck a deal with the French company Da Dassault in September, 2016 for two squadrons, i.e. 36 Rafale aircraft worth Rs 59,000 crore. Three more of these Raphael jets will arrive in India next month. The date has not been finalized yet but sources say that these planes will be brought directly from France to Jamnagar airbase in Gujarat. On the way, all the three fighter jets from Indian and French tankers will be refuelled in the air.


The first batch of five Rafale jets from the French company reached Ambala Airbase on July 29 after a stopover at Al Dhafra Airbase near Abu Dhabi. The Indian Air Force formally added these fighter jets to its fleet on September 10. After this, the second batch of three Rafale fighter jets reached Jamnagar airbase in Gujarat directly from France in early November. India has made these fighter jets operational and deployed them on the fronts of China and Pakistan.


The missile scalp of the Raphael fighter jet is being upgraded to attack mountainous areas amid preparations for a 'two front war' on the western and eastern fronts. Its software has been sent back to the manufacturer MBDA for updating so that this subsonic weapon can be aimed at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level. This missile is part of the Raphael, carrying a 450 kg warhead over a distance of more than 300 km from the air.


The rapid deployment of advanced jets in Ladakh amid military tensions with China will further boost the capabilities of the Indian Air Force. The Indian Air Force is on high alert to deal with any provocation on the eastern Ladakh border with China. The Air Force will receive three to four jets from France every two months. All 36 aircraft are expected to be supplied by the end of the year and join the Air Force's combat fleet. The first squadron of Raphael Jets has been formed at Ambala Airbase while the second squadron will be at Hasimara in West Bengal to strengthen the capabilities of the Indian Air Force in the eastern region.


The Indian Air Force added Russian fighter jet Sukhoi-30 MKI to its fleet in June 1997. 23 years later, the Indian Air Force is adding Raphael fighter jets to its fleet. The twin-engine Raphael jets are capable of carrying out a variety of missions in addition to land and sea attacks, air defense and air superiority, reconnaissance and nuclear attack prevention. These jets can carry about 10 tons of weapons.

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