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MirageBlue

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IAF's No.101 'Falcons' squadron is set to be resurrected at Hasimara AFS with the delivery of 4 Rafales..

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India set to resurrect '101 squadron' at Hashimara base with 4 more Rafale jets

At the end of May, the Air Force will have 24 Rafale fighter jets in India, with another seven kept for training purposes in France and only five more to be handed over before the two squadrons are complete.


With another batch of four Rafale fighters landing at Ambala from Merignac-Bordeaux airbase in France on May 19-20, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to resurrect the 101 “Falcons of Chamb” squadron at Hashimara in West Bengal even as advance units have already moved into the new base.


While the exact date of Rafale landing in India will be determined by availability of mid-air refuellers of the UAE Air Force and weather conditions, it is quite evident that the full deliveries of 36 aircraft will be completed well before April 2022 as announced by Union defence minister Rajnath Singh in Parliament. At the end of May, the IAF will have 24 Rafale fighter jets in India, with another seven kept for training purposes in France and only five more to be handed over before the two squadrons are complete.

The last five aircraft may be delivered in the second-half of 2021 as Egypt has placed an order of 30 Rafale fighters.
 

MirageBlue

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3 more Rafales have landed in India and will be handed over the new No.101 'Falcons' squadron to be based at Hasimara in West Bengal.

Three Rafale aircraft arrived in India a short while ago, after a direct ferry from #IstresAirBase, France. IAF deeply appreciates the support by UAE Air Force for in-flight refuelling during the non-stop ferry.
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MirageBlue

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35 Rafale fighters to be delivered to IAF by this year end. The last one, which was the test-bed for the ISE (India Specific Enhancements) will be delivered to the IAF in January 2022.

Basically the French have compressed the overall delivery timeline by more than 6 months.

France to deliver 35 Rafales by 2021 end, a solo Rafale will join in Jan 2022

France will have delivered a total of 35 omni-role Rafale fighters by end-2021 to India with a last fighter making a solo journey to soon to be activated Hashimara air base in north Bengal in January 2022. Already 26 fighters have been delivered with 24 landed in India and remaining two kept for IAF pilot and technician training in France.


Given the reliability of strategic ally France, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy have evinced keen interest in Rafale platform due to its weight to power ratio and maritime strike capabilities. Apparently, the IAF leadership wants to acquire another 36 Rafales in future and the Navy is looking at Rafale-M as a fighter option onboard INS Vikrant (Indigenous aircraft carrier-1), to be commissioned next year.

The induction of Rafale into western and eastern theatre has force multiplied Indian war making capabilities as the French fighter is armed with the longest range air-to-air Meteor missile in the sub-continent, Hammer air to ground smart munition and long range SCALP air to ground weapon. The Hammer missile, which has been acquired by India under emergency purchases, can be released at a height of mere 500 feet to hit a high altitude target more than 70 km away. The missile hugs the terrain and then climbs to a height of over 4000 metres before striking the target from a top down action. The Indian Rafales carry specially modified Hammer missiles due to high altitude targets, mountainous terrain and Chinese recently acquired Russian S-400 air defence systems. In fact, the French have offered to jointly develop Hammer and Meteor missiles with India with extended range and heavier payload.
 

MirageBlue

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The 2 pilots to the left most are likely from No.17 'Golden Arrows' squadron. They've both been ferry pilots for quite a few of the IAF's Rafales from France. One of them, second from left, was a former MiG-21 pilot, last name Sidhu as a I remember. I recall seeing him in a documentary on IAF MiG-21s.

The one to the right most is Grp Cpt Neeraj 'Jammy' Jhamb the new CO of No.101 'Falcons' squadron, which is being re-formed on the Rafale after retiring it's old MiG-21s.


 

MirageBlue

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Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, CAS formally inducted Rafale aircraft into No. 101 Sqn at AFS Hasimara in Eastern Air Command (EAC) on 28 Jul. The event included a flypast and a traditional water cannon salute.
Recalling the glorious history of 101 Sqn, CAS said that he had no doubt that the Sqn would dominate when ever & where ever required & ensure that the adversary would always be intimidated by their sheer presence.




 

MirageBlue

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It is rumored since so many time....
IAF's Vice Air Chief Marshal had stated in the past that once all 36 Rafales were delivered they would take up the case for any additional Rafales. Now that the Rafales are in service and one squadron is fully operational, they are likely taking up the actual paper work with the Ministry of Defence, rather than just saying it in interviews.

In a democracy with a massive bureaucracy like India, there are dozens of processes to be followed and approvals that are needed for a file/case to move forward to the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) which needs to approve the need for these 36 and then give them to go ahead. It will take time unfortunately.
 

Hawkeye1

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So now is it safe to assume that Indian navy won't be getting Rafales for INS Vikrant as its lift is short for them.
 

MirageBlue

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So now is it safe to assume that Indian navy won't be getting Rafales for INS Vikrant as its lift is short for them.
From what it seems, the IN is not going ahead with the plan to import 57 naval fighters and will instead move ahead with the plan to work on the indigenous TEDBF. But it is still not fully clear or confirmed.
 

Sudarshan

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From what it seems, the IN is not going ahead with the plan to import 57 naval fighters and will instead move ahead with the plan to work on the indigenous TEDBF. But it is still not fully clear or confirmed.
12 MiG-29K and 10 LCA-Navy and the rest Helos.
 

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