Rafale fighter jets to be inducted into Indian Air Force by 2022, says Bhadauria

Published on Jun 19, 2021 04:08 PM IST

India had signed an inter-governmental deal with France to buy 36 of these fighter jets at a cost of ₹59,000 crore in September 2016.

Air chief marshal RKS Bhadauria (ANI Photo)
Air chief marshal RKS Bhadauria (ANI Photo)
Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Indian Air Force (IAF) chief RKS Bhadauria on Saturday said the IAF is on its target to induct all the 36 Rafale fighter jets by 2022.

Speaking after reviewing the Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal in Hyderabad, Bhadauria said, "The target is 2022. It is absolutely on target. I mentioned earlier. Except for one or two aircraft, minor delays because of Covid-related issues, but, in fact, some deliveries have been ahead of time. So, broadly, we are absolutely on target on the Rafale induction plan. On the operationalisation plan, you are aware, we are fully operational.. so, in terms of time, we will be absolutely on time."

Also Read: 3 more Rafale jets leave for India from France

India had signed an inter-governmental deal with France to buy 36 of these fighter jets at a cost of 59,000 crore in September 2016.

In April 2021, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh also said that the whole batch of the aircraft would reach the country by April 2022. "I want to inform you that till now, 11 Rafale have arrived and by this March, 17 Rafale will be on our land. I also inform that all Rafale will reach India by April, 2022," he had said while replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

On the situation in eastern Ladakh on the Indo-China border, the IAF chief said there was a need to continue with the parley and carry out the disengagement at the "balance friction points," adding that talks between the two sides were underway.

"The first attempt is to continue with the talks and do the disengagement at the balance friction points. And, of course, follow it up with de-escalation," he said.

"However, in parallel, the ground realities are being monitored closely. Whatever is the reality across, in terms of current leftover locations, deployments, any changes, that is being monitored closely and whatever actions are required on our part, we are taking," he added.

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