The Indian Air Force has inducted the Dassault Rafale fighter into its ranks at Air Force Station Ambala, as border tensions with China simmer.
The aircraft will serve in the air force’s 17 Sqn, says the IAF Facebook page.
The induction follows five examples being flown to India from Dassault’s Merignac site in late July. The five aircraft comprised three single-seat Rafale C fighters and a pair of two-seat Bs.
The induction of the Rafale comes at a time of heightened tension with Beijing over disputed territory in the Himalayas, where India and China share a vaguely defined mountain frontier.
On 1 August, Shiv Aroor of the Livefist defence blog posted an interview with retired Air Marshal Raghunath Nambier about the Rafale on Youtube.
“The Rafale comes with a full package of electronic warfare, beyond-visual-range missiles, air-to-ground armarment…the whole perks,” Nambier said. “It’s got everything packed within its very sleek frame.”
Nambier also touched on Indian and Chinese air force operations at high altitudes in the Himalayas.