Rafale fighters delivery delayed by 'few weeks' due to COVID-19 lockdown

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Apr 14, 2020, 11:25 PM(IST)

Rafale fighter jet displayed at an airport in Bordeaux, France Photograph:( ANI )

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The aircraft were supposed to reach India by the end of May next month but now would be delayed by few weeks.

The delivery of the first batch of Rafale fighter aircraft has been delayed by a few weeks now due to the coronavirus lockdowns going on in both France and India, according to news agency ANI.

"At present, the delivery schedule has been pushed back by a few weeks due to the lockdown but arrangements are being made in this regard," the news agency reported quoting IAF sources.

Sources said apart from the delays in deliveries from France, some preparations are yet to be completed at the Ambala airbase which will house the first squadron of the French-origin fighters.

The aircraft were supposed to reach India by the end of May next month but now would be delayed by few weeks.

The final delivery schedule would be known only after the lockdowns get over. 

The first squadron of Rafales in India would be the 17 Squadron which was earlier commanded by former Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and the tail number of the fighters would also be BS.

The four trainers would come with tail numbers RB in recognition of the important role played by present Air Force Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria in finalising the deal of the planes as head of the contract negotiation committee for buying 36 Rafales for around Rs 60,000 crore. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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