Rafale Jets Fly Non-Stop France-India With Aerial Refueling
Three more Rafale omni-role jets touched down in India’s Jamnagar Air Base Wednesday night after a 7000 km non-stop flight from France.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) said they flew over 7000km with in-flight refueling. The aircraft got airborne earlier in the day from Istres Air Base in France.
The third batch of these jets were refueled in mid-air by Airbus MRTT tankers of the U.A.E. Air Force. IAF has now inducted 11 Rafales out of the ordered 36, nearly $8 billion (INR 59,000 Crore) contract for which was signed in 2016. All the remaining jets will be delivered to the Air Force by the end of 2022.
The 4.5-generation fighters have a combat range of 780-1650km without mid-air refueling. IAF Rafales come armed with weapons such as 300km-range Scalp air-to-ground cruise missiles, Meteor air-to-air missiles with strike range of 120-150km, and Hammer air-to-ground precision-guided munitions with strike range of 20-70km.