The first batch of five Rafale fighter jets has landed at the Ambala airbase. The fighter jets earlier entered the Indian airspace at about 1.30 pm and were greeted by an Indian Navy warship, INS Kolkata, deployed in the western Arabian Sea.
The Rafales reached Ambala, their home base, at around 3.10 pm. They will officially be inducted into the Golden Arrows No 17 squadron of the IAF.
Section 144 has been imposed in Haryana’s Ambala ahead of the arrival of the much-awaited jets, even as Jodhpur has been kept on standby in case weather conditions in Ambala worsen.
“The Birds have landed safely in Ambala. The touch down of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History. These multirole aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the @IAF_MCC,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in a series of tweets.
“Welcome home ‘Golden Arrows’. Blue skies always,” the Indian Air Force tweeted with a photo of the Rafales in “Arrow formation”, given a ceremonial welcome by SU-30s.
The jets, piloted by IAF officers, took off from Merignac in southwest France and refuelled mid-air on the way. The planes are expected to boost India’s air power massively amid tensions with China and Pakistan.