“Indian Air Force appreciates the support provided by French Air Force for our Rafale journey back home,” the IAF tweeted with pictures of jets being refuelled.
The aircraft flew out from the Merignac airbase in French port city of Bordeaux and are covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km with a single stop in the United Arab Emirates before arriving at Ambala airbase on Wednesday.
Here are the pictures:
Few shots from 30,000 feet! Mid air refuelling of #RafaleJets on their way to #[email protected]_MCC @French_Gov… https://t.co/qqlyvllLXZ
— India in France (@Indian_Embassy) 1595931927000
The jets are accompanied by two A330 Phenix MRTT refuelling planes from the French Air Force, one of which is carrying 70 ventilators, 100,000 test kits and a team of 10 health experts to support India in its fight against Covid-19, according to the French defence ministry.
An IAF official had said the air-to-air refuelling of the aircraft will be undertaken with dedicated tanker support from the French Air Force.
The aircraft are expected to significantly boost the Indian Air Force’s combat capabilities at a time India is locked in a tense border row with China in eastern Ladakh.
The first Rafale jet was handed over to the IAF in October last year during a visit to France by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
(With inputs from PTI)