NEW DELHI: Three extra French-origin Rafale fighters touched down on the Jamnagar airbase in India, after mid-air refueling by tankers of France and UAE, on Wednesday evening.
The three new jets will add to the 26 such 4.5-generation fighters, which have a fight vary of 780-km to 1,650-km with out mid-air refueling, already delivered to India. The Indian Air Force (IAF) will get all of the 36 twin-engine Rafales, contracted beneath the Rs 59,000 crore deal inked with France in September 2016, in batches by early subsequent yr.
The 2 Rafale squadrons, the 17 ‘Golden Arrows’ in Ambala and 101 ‘Falcons’ in Hasimara, are already operational and flying missions in the course of the persevering with 17-month-long navy confrontation with China in jap Ladakh.
The omni-role Rafales are armed with lengthy stand-off weapons just like the over 300-km vary ‘Scalp’ air-to-ground cruise missiles. The fighters are additionally geared up with the top-notch Meteor air-to-air missiles, which with a strike vary of 120 to 150-km can outgun any missile that may presently be unleashed by Pakistani or Chinese language jets.
IAF had additionally ordered the “Hammer” air-to-ground precision-guided munitions for the Rafales in a recent deal final yr. With a strike vary of 20 to 70-km, the Hammer munitions are designed to destroy bunkers, hardened shelters and different targets in all terrains, together with the mountainous one in Ladakh.

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