Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Wednesday flagged off a new batch of Rafale fighter jets from a French airbase to India.
“Air Chief Mshl RKS Bhadauria on an official tour to France lauds pilots and sees off the next batch of Rafales on a nonstop flight to India with mid-air refueling by French Air Force & UAE,” the Indian embassy in France said on Twitter.
The IAF chief said some of the Rafale aircraft have been delivered a “little bit” ahead of time and it has contributed to the overall combat potential of the Indian Air Force (IAF). “This ferry, which is fifth from here, marks the end of the third batch of our pilots and all our maintenance crew. The Rafale training centre has provided world-class training and it is because of the level and quality of training that we were able to operationalise the aircraft quickly,” he said.
He also expressed his gratitude to the French government, the French Air Force for providing the required support for the training programme despite the pandemic situation, as well as for ferrying of the aircraft to India. The IAF chief is currently on an official visit to France.