On Wednesday, with the delivery of 3 more Rafale fighter jets, on Wednesday France completed the entire consignment of 36 Rafale fighter planes to the country

With the delivery of three more Rafale fighter jets on Wednesday, France completed the entire consignment of 36 Rafale fighter planes to the country. India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore, and the offset obligations were part of the contract. French aerospace major Dassault Aviation is the manufacturer of the Rafale jets while MBDA supplies the missile systems for the aircraft.

The India specific enhancements on Rafales relate to long-range Meteor air-to-air missiles, low band frequency jammers, advanced communication systems, more capable radio altimeter, radar warning receiver, high altitude engine start-up, synthetic aperture radar, ground moving target indicator and tracking, missile approach warning systems, and very high-frequency range decoys, according to the sources.

India-France Rafale Deal

The first batch of five Rafale jets had arrived in India on July 29 last year. India and France had signed the inter-government agreement in 2016, under which Paris agreed to provide 36 Rafale fighter jets to New Delhi. The two nations had signed a 58,000 crore deal.

The sources in the Defence Ministry also indicated that once India receives all 36 jets, the 32 jets in the initial lots will be flying to France in a phased manner for Indian modification fittings to give Indian Air Force more teeth.

It is to mention that the latest update about the Rafale delivery comes after the Indian government said that the Indian Air Force would start upgrading its fleet of French-origin fighters from January 2022, with India-specific enhancements. Back in November, the government informed that the upgrade of the aircraft would be carried out at the Ambala Air Force Station which is the first base of the plane in the nation. The last aircraft to arrive in India from France was the RB-008 named after the former air force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria (Retd).