FINAL Rafale fighter jet lands in India amidst border tensions with China

The Indian Air Force received its final unit of 4.5 Gen Rafale MMRCA fighter jet amidst the ongoing tensions at the Eastern border with China after the Tawang clash.

FINAL Rafale fighter jet lands in India amidst border tensions with China

Amidst the rising tensions at the Eastern Border with China post the clash in Tawang, the Indian Air Force has got its final Rafale fighter jet delivered by French aviation giant Dassault. In a tweet, the Indian Air Force updated that the 36th fighter jet has landed in India. "FEET DRY! 'The Pack is Complete' The last of the 36 IAF Rafales landed in India after a quick enroute sip from a UAE Air Force tanker. Shukran jazeelan," mentioned IAF. The Rafale was inducted swiftly into the Indian Air Force at the peak of the conflict with China and started operating over Ladakh within a week of its arrival.

French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain, on Thursday, said that he is proud to see 36 Rafales with full equipment after all the 'Rafales' landed on Indian soil. Taking to Twitter, Lenain said, "Proud to see all 36 Rafales on India's soil and fully equipped with India-specific enhancements."

The final Rafale got its fuel topped up by a UAE Air Force tanker through air-to-air refuelling for a faster journey between France and India. Indian Air Force inducted the French-made Dassault Rafale fighter jet in an aim to modernize its fleet. The Rafale joins the likes of Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Mirage and India-made Tejas LCA to further strengthen IAF's arsenal. 

India had ordered 36 Rafale aircraft from France in September 2016 and two squadrons of the Rafale have been established by the Indian Air Force. The first one was in Ambala, Haryana and the second was in Hasimara, West Bengal. While the former is aimed to counter any attack from the Western border, the latter takes care of misadventures from the East.

Rafale is the 4.5 gen fighter jet, making it among the deadliest in the world and was procured after a lengthy scrutiny by Indian Air Force, outperforming SAAB Gripen, MiG 35, Typhoon, F-16 among others. The Rafale jets are capable of carrying a range of potent weapons, including European missile maker MBDA's Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile, Scalp cruise missile and MICA weapons system will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets. 

The twin-engine omnirole fighter jet is known for air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship and nuclear deterrence fighter aircraft, equipped with a wide range of weapons. The IAF has also added the HAMMER missile to the Rafale's arsenal as it was required for carrying out precision attacks at shorter distances.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has also started upgrading the planes to the highest standards and has been equipped with all India-specific enhancements. The French firm Dassault Aviation is also involved in the maintenance of the aircraft whose serviceability is over 75 per cent.

With ANI inputs

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