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IAF To Deploy The First Batch Of Rafale Jets At Ambala And Hashmira In May 2020

HARSH RANJAN | 1
4172
| January 4 , 2019 , 19:37 IST

Ambala in Haryana and Hashimara in West Bengal is going to host the most modern fighter jets, Rafale.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will deploy one each squadron of the Rafale combat aircraft at its airbases in Ambala Hashimara.

Infrastructure for housing both the squadrons has been completed at both the bases. 

Senior IAF officials said "The first Rafale would be handed over to the Indian Air Force in September 2019 but it would be required to undergo intensive 1,500 hours of testing to validate the India Specific Enhancements on it. So, the first batch of the four Rafale fighter planes would arrive at Ambala around May 2020."

Earlier, the plan was to deploy one squadron of the planes at the Saraswat air base in Uttar Pradesh but due to land acquisition issues IAF pulled it back and transferred the plan to Ambala as has been housing Jaguar aircraft squadrons mainly looking after the Pakistan front but due to rapid deployment capabilities, the planes can be utilised on both the fronts in case of requirement.

The Hashimara air base in West Bengal is close to the China border and was home to the MiG 27 fighters which are being phased out now.

ALSO READ: Rafale Deal Arbitrary, Waiting For Docs To Move Court: Subramanian Swamy

In September 2016, India signed a deal with the French government and Dassault Aviation to acquire 36 Rafale fighter jets for over Euro 7.8 billion to arrest the fall of combat squadrons and meet urgent requirements on the eastern and western fronts.

The Air Force rates the Rafale much higher than the Su-30MKIs in terms of capabilities and has been making a case for the increased number of Rafale type multirole fighters.

 

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