New Delhi: Security has been tightened in Ambala on Wednesday morning as the first batch of five Rafale jets are scheduled to land at the Ambala airbase in the afternoon. Also Read - Air India Express Crash: How 'Hero' Captain Deepak Sathe Saved Hundreds of Lives
“Today, history is being created. The people of Ambala are awaiting the arrival of Rafale fighter jets. If there was no COVID19, the people here would have welcomed the fighters jets with celebrations,” Haryana minister Anil Vij said. Also Read - Captain Sathe, ex-IAF Pilot, Who Died in Tragic Kozhikode Plane Crash
Authorities have imposed prohibitory orders near the Ambala Air Force Station, banning shooting of videos and photography. Section 144, which prohibits assembly of four or more people, has been imposed in the villages adjoining the airbase, including Dhulkot, Baldev Nagar, Garnala and Panjkhora. Also Read - Indian Air Force STAR Exam Tentative Date Out: Exam Likely in Third Week of August | Read Details
All you need to know about the first batch of five jets
1. The squadron of Rafale jets will be stationed at the Ambala airbase in Haryana.
2. The jets took off from the Merignac airbase in French port city of Bordeaux on Monday and will arrive here after covering a distance of 7,000 km with air-to-air refuelling and a single stop in the United Arab Emirates.
3. The fleet of five jets comprises three single-seater and two twin-seater aircraft.
4. The Ambala district administration has also prohibited people from flying private drones within the three-km radius of the airbase.
5. Nearly four years ago, India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to purchase 36 Rafale jets under a Rs 59,000-crore deal to boost the IAF’s combat capabilities.
6. The five Rafales are scheduled to be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday, though a formal induction ceremony would be held later.
7. The jets will be inducted into the IAF as part of its No 17 Squadron, also known as the ‘Golden Arrows’.
8. The aircraft is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons. European missile maker MBDA’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets.
9. Of the 36 jets, 30 will be fighter jets and six will be trainers.
10. The trainer jets will be twin-seater and they will have almost all the features of the fighter jets.
The Haryana Police has set up several check barricades and police officers were seen patrolling residential localities near the airbase, making announcements over loudspeakers warning people not to stand on the rooftop of their houses to click pictures or shoot videos.
Violators would face punishment as per the law, they warned.
At many places here, hoardings have been erected to welcome the arrival of the fighter jets with some of these mentioning that their induction will further boost IAF’s capabilities.