An Indian Air Force group, led by a two-star official, is presently in France to audit the advancement of the Rafale project even as the second batch of contenders is set to arrive at their headquarters in Ambala in the following few weeks, authorities acquainted with the improvements said on Thursday.

The group, headed by assistant chief of air staff (ventures), arrived at France not long ago for a planned survey of the project, the authorities said.

Five Rafale jets of the 36 ordered by the IAF arrived at the Ambala airbase on July 29 after a stopover at the Al Dhafra airbase close to Abu Dhabi, albeit a formal induction ceremony occurred later on September 10.

The authorities said next batch of three or four Rafale jets is required to show up in the next few weeks (the date is being settled) and will additionally help the IAF’s ability to quickly send the serious jets in the midst of pressures with neighboring China and Pakistan.

The IAF is expecting three or four Rafale jets to be delivered every two months, with all the planes liable to join the air force’s battle fleet by the year-end.

The Rafale warriors—the first imported jets to be enlisted into the IAF in 23 years after the Russian Sukhoi-30 jets entered service in June 1997—have essentially upgraded the offensive capabilities of the IAF.

The IAF is working the Rafale contender jets in the Ladakh theater where the military is on high aware of manage any incitement by China even as military and diplomatic talks have failed to diminish friction in the sensitiveLadakh theater.

IAF boss Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria recently said the combination of Rafale warrior jets acquired a stage furnished with cutting edge weapons, sensors and technologies that gave the IAF an operational and technological edge. “Combined with upgraded operational capabilities of our current fighter fleet, it gives us the ability to shoot first and strike deep and hard, even in contested airspace,” the IAF chief said.

The planes were ordered from France in September 2016 under a governmentto-government deal worth Rs 59,000 crore. India-specific improvements on the Rafales incorporate a helmet-mounted sight, radar warning receivers, flight information recorders with storage for 10 hours of information, infrared search and track systems, jammers, cold engine start ability to work from high-altitude bases and towed decoys to avert approaching rockets.

The twin-engine jet s equipped for completing a variety of missions — ground and sea attack, air defence and air superiority, surveillance and nuclear strike discouragement. It can convey right around 10 tons of weapons.

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