Tracking Rafale's journey to Ambala: India's new beast undergoes air-to-air refueling

The Rafale aircraft will refuel midair several times on the way and also make a stopover in Al Dhafra in the United Arab Emirates as it arrives in India on July 29

Air-to-air refuelling

The IAF said air-to-air refuelling has been planned during the first leg of the ferry which will be undertaken by dedicated tanker support from French Air Force.

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Golden Arrows squadron

The supersonic jets were accompanied by AA330 Phenix MRTT refuelling planes provided by the French Air Force.

India had signed an agreement for 36 Rafale fighters for its "Golden Arrows" squadron. (Photo Courtesy: Indian embassy)

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Rafale fighter jet coming to India

Rafale fighter jets being refueled mid-air on its way to India at 30,000 feet

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India's Rafale lands at Al Dhafra airbase in UAE

On Monday evening, the jets landed at Al Dhafra airbase in the UAE after a seven hour flight.  (Photo Courtesy: Indian embassy)

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Flight to India with a single hop

Indian ambassador to France interacts with the Indian Rafale pilots and congratulates them on a safe flight to India with a single hop. (Photo Courtesy: Indian embassy)

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Bravehearts who flew Rafales to India

With a service ceiling of 50,000 feet, the combat aircraft can reach maximum speeds of 750 knots.

It can carry out both air-to-ground strikes, as well as air-to-air attacks and interceptions during the same sortie.

The jet is capable of performing several actions at the same time, such as firing air-to-air missiles during a very low altitude penetration phase, giving it outstanding survivability. (Photo Courtesy: IAF)

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Touchdown at Ambala on July 29

"The aircraft are likely to arrive at Air Force Station, Ambala, on July 29 subject to weather condition," the IAF said. 

The Indian ambassador to France thanked the French government and Dassault aviation at the Merignac facility while conveying India’s appreciation for timely delivery of the Rafale fighter jets. (Photo Courtesy: Indian embassy)

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Accompanied by two A330 Phenix MRTT refuelling planes

The supersonic jets are being  accompanied by two A330 Phenix MRTT refuelling planes from the French Air Force, one of which is carrying 70 ventilators, 100,000 test kits and a team of 10 health experts to support India in its fight against COVID-19, according to the French defence ministry.

Delivery of the Rafale jets -- 36 of which were ordered by India in September 2016 -- officially began in October but the planes stayed in France for training of the pilots and mechanics.

Delivery should be complete by 2022.

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Rafale's land safely at Al Dhafra airbase to refuel

"The Golden Arrows" squadron is being raised at Ambala for the Rafale aircraft. 

(Photograph:AFP)