Boost For Indian Airpower As Six Rafale Jets To Arrive By July 27: Report

 - Sakshi Post

NEW DELHI: India is likely to receive the first batch of six fully loaded Rafale fighter jets by July 27 which will significantly boost the combat capability of the Indian Air Force and send a clear message to India's "adversaries", as reported by a news agency. The first squadron of the aircraft will be stationed at Ambala air force station.

The move assumes significance as India lost 20 soldiers in clash with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley that has escalated tensions between two countries. The two armies are locked in a bitter standoff in the region for seven weeks.

On June 2, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation with his French counterpart Florence Parly during which she conveyed that the Rafale jets will be delivered to India as scheduled notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic in France.

India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore.

The second squadron of Rafale will be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal. The IAF spent around Rs 400 crore to develop infrastructure like shelters, hangars and maintenance facilities at the two bases.

Out of the 36 Rafale jets, 30 will be fighter jets and six will be trainers. The trainer jets will be twin-seater and they will have almost all the features of the fighter jets.

The Congress had raised questions on the deal, including on rates of the aircraft, and alleged corruption, but the ruling BJP government had rejected the charges.

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