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Rafale Fighter Jets Touchdown in India

Five Rafale fighter jets of which three are single-seater and two are twin-seater touched down at the Ambala Air Force base on the 30th of July and were received by the Air Chief Marshal R. K. S. Bhadauria. The jets flew approximately 7000 kilometers with a stop in between at the Al Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates. The fighter jets took off from the Merignac airbase in Bordeaux in France on the 27th of July. Even though the aircraft was capable of reaching its destination much faster it took longer to reach India as it had to keep pace with the refuellers. The jets were initially meant to reach India in the month of May but got delayed due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Rafale fighter jets will play a critical role in the ongoing India-China stand-off. The jets sent to India are highly advanced with the features of having 1.5 times the loitering capability as compared to the American origin SU 30 MK1. It has a range of 780-1055 km while the SU 30 MK1 only has a range of 400-550 km.This exchange between the French and Indian government is part of a Rs. 58000 crore deal made in the month of September in 2016 according to which the French government will be handing over 36 new fighter jets to India. This will in turn help in reviving the Golden Arrows Squadron of the Indian Air Force.

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