IAF erects Rafale replica outside Air Chief’s residence, right in front of Congress HQ
REPLICA of a Rafale fighter aircraft has been erected outside Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa’s residence by the Indian Air Force in Delhi. Residence of the Air Chief Marshal numbered 23, is right in front of Congress Headquarters, number 24, on Akbar Road in the national capital.
Replica of Rafale jet erected outside Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa’s residence in New Delhi on Friday. His residence is next to Congress Headquarters. (ANI)
Earlier, a model of the Sukhoi Su-30 was set up at the same place before being removed a few months ago.
The first Rafale is expected to 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 planes is likely to arrive at Ambala around May 2020. Air Chief Dhanoa has dubbed the fighter as a “game changer” for the IAF. “IAF is about to get two squadrons of Rafale. Rafale has the capability that no enemy can interfere in the air operations which is a big thing. It will come and change the balance back to us,” he had told ANI in Bathinda earlier this month.
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 Congress has repeatedly levelled allegations against the BJP Government for alleged wrong doings in the deal and has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of corruption, which the ruling party has out rightly denied. Congress President Rahul Gandhi also made it an election issue and raked up the matter at every campaign rally in run up to the Lok Sabha elections. The party even promised a probe into the alleged irregularities on coming to power.