The first five of 36 Rafale fighter jets arrived at Ambala air base on Wednesday.The arrival of first batch of fighter jets was part of Rs 59,000 crore deal signed in September ,2016 with French company Dassault Aviation.A team of pilots took off on July 27 from France and took a break for a day in United Arab Emirates. During the air journey, fuel was filled with the help of French Air force . The fighters were welcomed by Indian Air Force Chief Air Force Marshal RKS Bhaduria and Air Marshal B Suresh.
The distance of nearly 8500 km was divided into two parts and the jets flew 5800 km in first part. French Airforce tanker successfully re-filled the fuel in the jets at UAE’s Al Dafra airbase. Rafale jets then flew 2700 km in the second part. These jets completed 2700 km journey by landing at Haryana’s Ambala airbase on Wednesday. Appreciating the help provided by France India has thanked the Air Force of France.
These aircrafts will be part of Air Force’s historical 17 squadron which is also known as Golden Arrows. This squadron was formed at Ambala Air force station on October 1 1951. These jets will formally be inducted in the squadron on August 15 or little after that with full state honour.
People of Ambala greeted the jets by gathering in large numbers at the highway to get a glipse of the deadly fighter jets. People were seen making videos and explaining the event in their own way.It was a proud moment for people of Ambala as some danced and distributed sweets, others released tricolour balloons and raised ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogans. There were some who enthusiastically counted the jets as five Rafale aircraft arrived at the air base on Wednesday afternoon. A video shared on Twitter showed people were commenting and sharing their views on the arrival of Rafale jets in India. Some of them described it as proud moment.