The first Indian Rafale will have to undergo trials for 1,500 hours. India has to test the avionics on it, which are customised for the Indian Air Force
New Delhi: Now that the Supreme Court has put to rest the controversy over the Rafale deal, the first four Rafales of the Indian Air Force will arrive in the country by May 2020 at the Ambala Air Force Base.
As per schedule, the first aircraft would be handed over to the Indian Air Force in September 2019 at a French air base.
"Even though the first aircraft would be received by us in September 2019, it would be the last one to be inducted into the Air Force as it will undergo 1,500 hours of test flying in France," a senior Air Force source told MyNation.
"The Rafales would first join the Indian Air Force on Indian soil in May 2020, when the first batch of four aircraft will arrive at the Ambala Air Base where the infrastructure for housing the plains has already been created," they said.
The first Indian Rafale will have to undergo trials for 1,500 hours. India has to test the avionics on it, which are customised for the Indian Air Force.
India has already paid around Rs 30,000 crore for the 36 aircraft deal signed in September 2016.
The Congress has been making allegations of corruption in the 36 aircraft contract, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi favouring is industrialist friends by giving them offset contracts worth over Rs 30,000 crore.
On the basis of these allegations, politicians and lawyers including Prashant Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie had approached the Supreme Court, which dismissed their pleas, saying that it did not find anything wrong with the procedure and did not feel the need for any interference.
The Supreme Court’s verdict is being seen as a big setback to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s campaign for the 2019 general elections, as he was trying to stick the allegations of corruption on the Narendra Modi government, which has so far come out clean in this domain.
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Last Updated 17, Dec 2018, 5:39 PM