Indian Air Force receives three Rafale fighter jets

Three more Indian Air Force's  Rafale fihter jets arrived in India on October 13, taking total deliveries to 29. With 17 Squadron in Ambala topped up with its 18 airframes, 101 Squadron now has 11 airframes, with 7 left to be delivered to complete the total order for 36.

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Indian Air Force receives three Rafale fighter jets 01 With this delivery, India has received 29 out of the total 36 fighter aircraft it had ordered from France (Picture source: IAF)

The Rafale is a French-made twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike, and nuclear deterrence missions. Introduced in 2001, the Rafale is being produced for both the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations in the French Navy. The Rafale has been marketed for export to several countries and was selected for purchase by the Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force, and the Qatar Air Force. The Rafale has been used in combat over Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.

In 2016, India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly-away condition for $8.8 billion. Out of the 36 Rafales ordered for the IAF, 28 are single-seat jets, designated Rafale EH, and the remaining are dual-seat jets, designated Rafale DH.