Saint-Cloud(France), July 27
Today, five Indian Air Force Rafale operated by Indian Air Force pilots took off from Dassault Aviation Mérignac facility to ferry to Ambala Air Force Station for entering service in N°17 Squadron “Golden Arrows”.
After a complete training of Indian pilots and technicians by Dassault Aviation, with the French Air Force participation, the Indian Air Force will fully perform this first ferry, including an air-to-air refueling, with the dedicated support of the French Air Force.
Together with His Excellency Shri Jawed Ashraf, Ambassador of the Republic of India in France, Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, congratulated the Indian Air Force team present in France since almost 3 years, for successful management of the program. He also complimented the trainees who joined for more than a year on their outstanding ability to master the aircraft. The whole attendance then saluted the departure of the Rafale.
“I am strongly impressed by the amazing efficiency and determination of the Indian Air Force and Indian Ministry of Defense, despite this unprecedented world health crisis, to master rapidly all aspects of the Rafale for comforting Indian sovereignty and contributing to the protection and security of Indian people," stated Eric Trappier.
"This new milestone illustrates once again the exemplary cooperation between Dassault Aviation and the Indian Air Force, started in 1953, and reasserts our total commitment to fulfill Indian Air Force requirements for the decades to come, and to be part of India’s ambitious vision for the future."
This first ferry testifies that the program is running smoothly and that deliveries are on time in spite of COVID-19 pandemic.
These five include three single seater and two twin seater aircraft.
The ferry of the aircraft is planned in two stages and will be undertaken by the pilots of the IAF, who have undergone comprehensive training on the aircraft. The Air to Air Refuelling planned during the first leg of the ferry will be undertaken by these pilots with dedicated tanker support from the French Air Force.
The aircraft are likely to arrive at Air Force Station, Ambala, on 29 Jul 20 subject to weather. No 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”, is being raised at this base equipped with Rafale aircraft.
It initiates the induction of the Rafale in the Indian Air Force, in the frame of the contract of 36 aircraft, and paves the way to fulfill the present and future needs and requirements of the Government of India.