Rafale will revolutionise IAF's capabilities: Rajnath Singh

Agencies. Updated: 7/29/2020 4:51:51 PM National

New Delhi, Jul 29: With addition of new capability in the IAF stable, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday cautioned the adversaries and said those who want to threaten India’s territorial integrity should be worried after the first fleet of five Rafale aircraft made smooth landing at Ambala Air Force Station in Haryana.

In a series of tweets, Mr Singh said, “The Birds have landed safely in Ambala. The touchdown of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History. These multirole aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the @IAF_MCC.”

Congratulating the Indian Air Force on a professionally executed ferry, the minister expressed hope that the number 17 Squadron, the Golden Arrows, will continue to live upto their motto of "Udayam Ajasram".

“I am extremely happy that IAF’s combat capability has got a timely boost,” he said.

Talking about the fighter jets, he said in another tweet, “This aircraft has very good flying performance and its weapons, radar and other sensors and Electronic Warfare capabilities are among the best in the world. Its arrival in India will make the IAF much stronger to deter any threat that may be posed on our country.”

“ The Rafale jets were purchased when they fully met the operational requirements of the IAF. The baseless allegations against this procurement have already been answered and settled,” he said.

Further, the minister said, “I would like to add, if it is anyone who should be worried about or critical about this new capability of the Indian Air Force, it should be those who want to threaten our territorial integrity.”

Mr Singh also thanked the French Government, Dassault Aviation and other French companies for ensuring the timely delivery of the aircraft and its weapons, despite the severe restrictions posed by COVID pandemic.

Crediting the government, he said, “The Rafale jets were purchased only because PM Shri @narendramodi took the right decision to get these aircrafts through an Inter-Governmental Agreement with France, after the long pending procurement case for them could not progress. I thank him for his courage & decisiveness.”

When these aircraft were entered into Indian airspace, two frontline fighter jets Sukhoi 30 MKIs escorted them till Ambala airbase.

Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria received the fleet.

The five fighter aircraft, which were flown by Indian Air Force pilots, arrived at Ambala after covering a distance of 7,000 km with air-to-air refueling and a single stop in the United Arab Emirates.

The aircraft will be officially inducted into the IAF in the second half of August.

India had bought 36 twin-engine fighter planes from Dassault Aviation for an estimated Rs 59,000 crore, through an inter-governmental agreement signed in 2016.

The Number 17 Golden Arrows squadron of the Indian Air Force has been resurrected in preparation for the induction.

The Golden Arrows were raised in 1951 and have been involved in a number of significant operations through their history, including the Kargil War.

But after the Air Force started to phase out the Mig-21, which were operated by the Golden Arrows, the squadron was disbanded in 2016.

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