The first batch of five Rafale jets will land in India, specifically at Haryana’s Ambala, today (i.e. Wednesday, July 29). The jets are being flown to Ambala airbase by Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots. As India awaits the Rafale Landing, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has provided a weather update for the city of Ambala in which it has said that the skies are cloudy at the moment and the temperature is 27-degrees Celsius.
IMD has predicted “generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers” for Ambala today. Reports indicate that the Indian Air Force has a back-up plan in case the weather conditions do not permit a timely landing in Haryana’s Ambala. According to reports, the IAF has planned to land the Rafale jets in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur in case cloudy weather doesn’t permit an Ambala landing.
In any case, Section 144 has been imposed in four villages closer to the Ambala airbase ahead of the landing, and the gathering of people on roofs and photography during the landing have been strictly prohibited.
The Rafale jets landed at Al Dhafra airbase in UAE on Monday after a sortie over seven hours.
The fighter aircraft was flagged off by the Indian Ambassador to France from an airbase in Merignac where he interacted with the IAF crew. The five aircraft flying to India include seven Indian pilots including the commanding officer of the 17 Golden Arrows squadron.
All the pilots have been trained on the aircraft by the French Dassault Aviation company as per the agreement signed for the biggest-ever defense deal signed by India in 2016 for acquiring 36 Rafale jets for over Rs 60,000 crore.
En route to UAE from French airbase at Merignac, the jets clicked getting mid-air refueling at almost 30,000 feet. They are accompanied by two A330 Phoenix MRTT refueling planes of the French Air Force.
The Indian Air Force thanked the French Air Force for the support during the aircraft’s journey back home.
(With inputs from DNAIndia)