New Delhi (Sputnik): The first batch of Rafale fighter jets are set to arrive in India’s Ambala Air Base on Wednesday afternoon after covering the 7,000 kilometers from France. The jets were stationed overnight at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE. The same air base houses US and French troops and aircraft.
An alert was sounded at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) late Tuesday after intelligence indicators hinted at an incoming "Iranian missile possibly headed that way". The Rafale fighter jets bound for India were also at the UAE base as part of an overnight stay.
Barbara Starr from American news channel CNN reported that there was intel on Iranian missiles, but US officials confirmed that no missile struck the facility. Three Iranian missiles reportedly splashed down in the waters near the base as part of Iran's current military exercises.
The three single-seater and two twin-seater fighter jets will touch down at the Ambala Air Base in Punjab, close to Ladakh and the Pakistani border on Wednesday afternoon.
Prohibitive orders have been imposed at the Ambala Air Force Station, disallowing gatherings of more than four people and banning drone activity within a 3 km radius.
India purchased 36 Rafale fighter jets from France under a 2016 government-to-government deal at a cost of $8.7 billion. The delivery, expected to be completed by the first half of 2021, officially began in October, but the planes remained in France in order to train the pilots and mechanics.