Indian Air Force (IAF) will receive its first Rafale fighter jets in September this year. There will be a official ceremony in France to hand over the combat jets, reports Economic Times.
The modern fighters will be flown by Indian pilots in France for at least 1,500 hours as part of the testing and acceptance process and first batch of four combat jets is expected to be ferried to India by May next year.
The first squadron of Rafale fighters that will be deployed at the Ambala airbase near Pakistan along the Western border and the legendary 17 Squadron is expected to be the first to receive the jets.
Indian pilots will undergo extensive training on the jets in France as part of the contract which include extensive exposure to Rafale characteristics at bilateral air combat drills.
At present a contingent of four Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters are at Mont De Marsan in southwest France for the latest edition of the Garuda air exercise. France is fielding its Rafale and Mirage fighters for the war game and pilots are expected to be exchanged for the planned combat drills.