The Indian Air Force is going to receive fully-battle ready Rafale fighter jets by the end of next month as tensions between India and China continue to escalate. These jets would provide India an edge over Chinese long-range missiles.
Six Rafale fighter jets along with over 150-km strike range Meteor missiles would be arriving next month. Top government sources told India Today that these jets would give Indian forces an edge over the Chinese military.
Earlier, only four were scheduled for delivery. However, amid the ongoing tensions with China, the number was increased to six. According to the sources, the jets would be deployed as soon as they reach India. Indian pilots have already undertaken extensive flights on these jets in France. Moreover, the delivery schedule was drawn up in such a manner that the training of pilots do not get affected.
The first Rafale-Meteor aircraft will be flown by the Commanding Officer of the 17 Golden Arrows squadron with a French pilot.
En route from France, the aircraft would be refuelled by a French Air Force tanker aircraft before they make a stopover in the Middle East. From the Middle East to India, there would be another mid-air refueling done by the Indian IL-78 tanker.
Moreover, the Indian armed forces have moved the air defence missile systems into Ladakh sector. "As part of the ongoing build-up in the sector, the air defence systems of both Indian Army and the Indian Air Force have been deployed in the sector to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese Air Force fighter jets or the People's Liberation Army choppers there," news agency ANI reported citing unidentified government sources.