JAMNAGAR: Three more French-origin Rafale fighters touched down at the Jamnagar airbase in India, after mid-air refuelling by tankers of France and UAE, on Wednesday night.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will be further strengthened amid the ongoing military standoff with China as three more Rafale jets took off from France and will touch down in Jamnagar, Gujarat on Wednesday. The three new fighter jets will increase the count of Rafale jets to 29 out of the total 36 India had ordered as part of the ₹60,000 crore deal inked in 2016.

Three Rafale jets were provided mid-air refuelling over the Middle East by a friendly Air Force. They will be landing at the Jamnagar air base, government sources told ANI. These Rafales are the first to be coming from France since Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari took over as the Chief of Air Staff earlier this month.

The planes coming from France would be distributed between the Golden Arrows squadron in Ambala and the 101 squadron in Hashimara, West Bengal.

The Centre had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around ₹58,000 crore. The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29 last year.

The next three Rafale jets are set to reach India by the first half of December and they would be joining the operational squadrons by January 26. The 36th and final Rafale would, according to the plan, include special enhancements that would make it more lethal and capable.