The IAF did not disclose the number of aircraft that landed in India, but people familiar with the development said four planes were part of the new batch.
The IAF said that the air refueling of the fleet was provided by air forces of France and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“After a direct ferry from #MerignacAirBase, France, the 5th batch of Rafales arrived in India on April 21. The fighters flew a distance of almost 8,000 km with air-to-air refueling support from @Armee_de_lair and UAE AF. The IAF thanks both of them to the Air Force for their cooperation, “he said in a tweet.
After a direct ferry from #MerignacAirBase, France, the 5th batch of Rafales arrived in India on April 21st.
– Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) 1619025100000
Earlier, the aircraft was shot down from Merignac the air base in France by the Chief of the Aviation Staff, Marshal RKS Bhadauria, visiting France.
The IAF chief also visited a Rafale aircraft training center on the third day of his five-day visit to the European country.
“Air chief Mshl RKS Bhadauria, on an official tour in France, praises the pilots and sees the next batch of Rafales in a non-stop flight to India with air refueling by the French air force and the United Arab Emirates. Thank you France, sp FASF and the French industry for timely delivery & timely pilot training, despite the conviction, “the Indian embassy in France wrote on Twitter.
In his brief remarks, Chief Marshal Bhadauria said that some of the Rafale aircraft were delivered “just in time” and that they contributed to the IAF’s overall combat potential.
Prior to his visit, military officials in Delhi said Marshal Bhadauria’s airlift to France was expected to boost co-operation between the IAF and the French Air and Space Force (FASF).
“This ferry, which is the fifth here, marks the end of the third batch of our pilots and the entire maintenance crew. The Rafale training center also provided world-class training due to the level and quality of training we have. managed to quickly operationalize the aircraft, “he said.
The head of the IAF also thanked the French government and the French Air Force for providing the necessary support for the training program as well as for the transport of the aircraft to India.
The arrival of the new batch of aircraft will pave the way for the IAF to pick up a second squadron of Rafale aircraft. The new squadron will be based at Hasimara Air Base in West Bengal.
The first Rafale Squadron is based at the Ambala Air Force Station. A squadron comprises about 18 aircraft.
India signed an intergovernmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of about Rs 58,000 crore.
With the arrival of the new batch, the number of Rafale aircraft with IAF increased to 18.
The first batch of five Rafale planes arrived in India on July 29 last year.
On Tuesday, Air Marshal Bhadauria held talks with General Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff of the FASF, on how to expand co-operation between the two sides.