New Delhi: Five Rafale fighter jets, were reaches Ambala airbase from France to join the Indian Air Force fleet. Earlier the Indian Rafale contingent, which took off earlier on Wednesday from the United Arab Emirates – their pit stop in the nearly 7,000-kilometre-long journey from France, established contact with Indian Navy warship INS Kolkata upon entering the Western Arabian Sea.
The naval warship welcomed the Rafale contingent in a radio message.
Here’s the short but full conversation between INS Kolkata and a Rafale jet being flown by an IAF pilot.
INS Kolkata Delta 63: “Arrow leader (flying Rafale), welcome to the Indian Ocean.”
Rafale leader: “Many thanks. Most reassuring to have an Indian warship guarding the sea.”
INS Kolkata: “May you touch the sky with glory. Happy landing.”
Rafale leader: “Wish you fair winds. Happy hunting. Over and out.”
The Rafale squadron, resurrected Golden Arrows No 17 Squadron, will be stationed at the Ambala airbase in Haryana.
The Indian Rafales had taken off from the Merignac airbase in French port city of Bordeaux on Monday. They are covering a distance of 7,000 kms. The 4.5 generation fighter jets were refulled mid-air by a French aircraft and made a single stop in the UAE.
In the first batch of five jets, France has delivered to India three single-seater and two twin-seater aircraft. The IAF is set to get a total of 36 such jets by the end of next year.