The newly inducted Rafale fighter aircraft would feature in the Air Force Day parade on October 8, an Indian Air Force (IAF) official said on Saturday. The Air Force Day is celebrated to mark the day the IAF was established in 1932. The force will celebrate its 88th anniversary this year with the annual parade at the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad which includes air display of various aircraft.
”Along with other aircraft, the Rafale aircraft will also take part in the Air Force Day parade on October 8,” the IAF official said. In a tweet, the IAF said, ”#AFDay2020: Rafale – The Rafale is a 4.5 generation, twin-engine omnirole, air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship and nuclear deterrence fighter aircraft, equipped with a wide range of weapons.” Five Rafale fighter jets were formally inducted into the IAF on September 10, in a major boost to India’s air power capability at a time when the country is engaged in a tense border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.
The multi-role Rafale jets, built by French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, are known for air superiority and precision strikes. The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
The second batch of four to five Rafale jets is likely to arrive in India by November. The Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia.
The Rafale jet is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons. European missile maker MBDA’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets.
First Published: IST