NEW DELHI: To boost combat capability, the Indian Air force is in the process of raising the second squadron of the advanced multi-role Rafale Fighters.
The IAF sources said, “The second Rafale Squadron will be raised at the next Main Operating Base (MOB) Hasimara in mid-April this year". The Hasimara Air force Base is in West Bengal.
The conversion training of the Rafale fighter pilots has been going on in France and the IAF would be moving the fighters to Hasimara in May as by that time the fresh set of pilots will complete their training.
The set of the first five Rafale fighters were inducted into the Air force by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Ambala Air Base on September 10, 2020, as part of 17 Squadron named as “Golden Arrows”.
At present, IAF has 11 Rafale Fighters. An Air Force squadron generally has fighters numbering between 16 to 18 jets.
In 2016, India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France for 36 Rafale jets under a Rs 59,000 crore deal. The fighters have been built and designed by Dassault Aviation.