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Three more Rafale fighters arrive in India from France | India News – Times of India



NEW DELHI: Three more Rafale fighters touched down in India from France on Wednesday night, which will add to the 11 omni-role jets already been inducted by the IAF.
The three Rafales were refueled in mid-air by Airbus MRTT tankers of the UAE Air Force, in yet another indication of close military ties with the Gulf country, during their over 7,000-km flight to India.
Another five Rafales will land in India towards end-April. The IAF will get all the 36 twin-engine Rafales, contracted under the Rs 59,000 crore deal inked with France in September 2016, by next year.

The first Rafale squadron, 17 `Golden Arrows’ Squadron, is already operational at the Ambala airbase. The second, 101 `Falcons’ Squadron, will now come up at the Hasimara airbase in West Bengal.
The 4.5-generation fighters have a combat range of 780-km to 1,650-km, without mid-air refueling, depending on the nature of their mission. The IAF fighters are armed with long stand-off weapons like the over 300-km range `Scalp’ air-to-ground cruise missiles.
The fighters are also being equipped with the top-notch Meteor air-to-air missiles, which with a strike range of 120 to 150-km can outgun any missile that can currently be unleashed by Pakistani or Chinese jets.
IAF has also ordered the “Hammer” air-to-ground precision-guided munitions for the Rafales, in a deal that came last year amidst the ongoing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh.
With a strike range of 20 to 70-km, the Hammer munitions are designed to destroy bunkers, hardened shelters and other targets in all terrains, including the mountainous one in Ladakh.