New Delhi: Defence minister Rajnath Singh and Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa are set to travel to Paris next month to receive the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF), government sources said on Wednesday (August 21).
They said top military brass of France as well as senior officials of Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, will also be present at the handing over ceremony which is likely to be held on September 20.
The sources said the first squadron of the aircraft will be deployed at Ambala air force station, considered one of the most strategically located bases of the IAF. The Indo-Pak border is around 220 km from there
The second squadron of Rafale will be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal.
The Rafale jets will come with various India-specific modifications, including Israeli helmet-mounted displays, radar warning receivers, low band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, infra-red search and tracking systems among others.
The IAF spent around Rs 400 crore to develop required infrastructure like shelters, hangers and maintenance facilities at the two bases.
According to the deal, the delivery of the jets was to be completed in 67 months from the date the contract was inked.