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3 more Rafale fighter jets from France arrive in India | India News


NEW DELHI: Three more Rafale fighters landed in India from France Wednesday night, to add to the eight Omni-role aircraft already installed by the IAF.
The three Rafale were refueled in the air by UAE Air Force Airbus MRTT tankers, in another indication of close military ties with the Gulf country, during their more than 7,000 km flight to Jamnagar air base.
The IAF has now incorporated 11 of the 36 twin-engine Rafales, which are also capable of carrying nuclear weapons, under the 59 billion rupee deal signed with France in September 2016. All 36 will be delivered by the end of 2022.
Generation 4.5 fighters have a combat range of 780 km to 1,650 km, with no air refueling, depending on the nature of their mission. IAF fighters are armed with long weapons such as “Scalp” air-to-ground cruise missiles with a range of over 300 km.
The fighters are also equipped with top-notch Meteor air-to-air missiles, which with an attack range of 120 to 150 km can outperform any missile that can currently be launched by Pakistani or Chinese aircraft.
The IAF also ordered “Hammer” precision-guided air-to-ground munitions for the Rafales, in an agreement that was reached last year amid the ongoing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh.
With an attack range of 20 to 70 km, Hammer ammunition is designed to destroy bunkers, reinforced shelters and other targets on all terrain, including mountainous Ladakh.

Times of India