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IAF team in France to prepare to add more Rafale aircraft | India News

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NEW DELHI: While preparing to bring in a second batch of Rafale jets, the Indian Air Force has dispatched a team of officers to France to oversee logistical issues and review the training of a group of carefully selected pilots in the air from Saint -Dizier. base there, authorities said Thursday.
The second batch of four Rafale jets is expected to arrive in India in the next four weeks.
The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29, almost four years after India signed an intergovernmental agreement with France to acquire 36 of these jets at a cost of 59 billion rupees.
Several IAF teams have visited France since January to monitor the Rafale project’s progress, including the integration of India-specific weapons systems and upgrades, the officials said.
The IAF Rafale project management team has an office in Paris headed by an officer in the rank of Group Captain. The team is tasked with monitoring production deadlines and coordinating team building.
A team of experts led by the deputy chief of air personnel (projects) arrived in France earlier this week to coordinate logistical issues and training of pilots and technicians, the officials said.
The first batch of Rafale aircraft finally joined the IAF on September 10.
On October 5, Air Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, said induction of all 36 Rafale aircraft will be completed by 2023.
So far ten Rafale aircraft have been delivered to India and five of them stayed in France to train IAF pilots.
Known for their air superiority and precision strikes, the Rafale jets are India’s first major fighter jet acquisition in 23 years after Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia.
The newly incorporated fleet has been conducting forays into eastern Ladakh, where Indian and Chinese troops are embroiled in a bitter border dispute for more than five months.
A group of IAF pilots are undergoing Rafale aircraft training at Saint-Dizier air base in eastern France.

Times of India

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