NEW DELHI :
THE Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday said the fifth batch of the Rafale aircraft arrived in India after flying a distance of almost 8,000 km from France. The IAF did not disclose the number of aircraft that landed in India but people familiar with the development said four jets were part of the new batch. The IAF said mid-air refuelling to the fleet was provided by the 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 21 Apr.
The fighters flew a distance of almost 8,000 Kms with air-to-air refuelling support by @Armee_de_lair and UAE AF. IAF thanks both the Air Forces for their co-operation,” it said in a tweet. Earlier, the aircraft were flagged off from the Merignac airbase in France by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, who is on a visit to France. The IAF chief also visited a Rafale aircraft training centre on the third day of his five-day visit to the European country. “Air Chief Mshl RKS Bhadauria on an official tour to France lauds pilots & sees off the next batch of Rafales on a non stop flight to India with mid air refueling by French Air force & UAE. Thanks France esp FASF & French Industry for timely delivery & pilot training on schedule despite covid,” the Indian embassy in France wrote on Twitter.