New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The third batch of three Rafale fighter jets arrived in India on Wednesday night after flying non-stop from France, the Indian Air Force has confirmed. The jets took off from the Istres Air Base in France earlier today and flew nearly 7000 kilometres non-stop, with in-flight refuelling provided by the Air Force of the United Arab Emirates.  

"3rd batch of 3 Rafale aircraft landed at an IAF base a short while ago. They flew over 7000 km with in-flight refuelling. The aircraft got airborne earlier today from Istres Air Base in France. IAF deeply appreciates the tanker support provided by UAE Air Force," the IAF tweeted.

The first batch of five Rafale jets had flown into India on July 29 and officially inducted in the IAF on September 10 at the Ambala Air Base in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his French counterpart Florence Parly. The second batch of three jets had arrived in India on November 4. The delivery of three jets will take the number of Rafale jets in the Indian Air Force's inventory to 11. All 36 jets are likely to be inducted in the IAF by the end of 2021. 

The Rafale jets, known for air-superiority and precision strikes, are India''s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 year after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia. The aircraft is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons. European missile maker MBDA''s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile, Scalp cruise missile and MICA weapons system will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja