IAF plans formal induction ceremony for newly acquired Rafale jets
The air force had said that efforts are focused on operationalization of the aircraft at the earliest
The Indian Air Force is planning for a formal, high-profile induction ceremony for the five Rafale jets. Reports say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French Defence Minister Florence Parly may attend the ceremony which would be held at the air force station in Ambala, Haryana where the new jets are stationed.
The first batch of Rafales, as per The Economic Times, arrived at Ambala on July 29. The air force had said a final induction ceremony is planned for the second half of August and efforts are focused on operationalization of the aircraft at the earliest. Moreover, the Rafale jets have already proven their mettle with successful weapons firing at a test range.
Sources told the newspaper that an economically viable production line could be set up in India if there is an assured order for at least 100 more aircraft.
Additional orders for the Rafale jets could cost considerably lesser than the Euro 7.8 billion paid for the first batch of 36 aircraft as fixed costs for training, creating infrastructure and making India-specific enhancements have been taken care of, said the report. Furthermore, the air force is also progressing on a medium fighter jet acquisition programme under the strategic partnership (SP) model to acquire 114 aircraft.