After reviewing the Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal, Telangana, the IAF Chief RKS Bhaduria confirmed the induction of Rafale jets in the Indian Air Force by 2022. Responding to a reporter’s query, the Chief said that 33 fighter jets will be inducted and they are absolutely on target regarding the plan.
Source of the image: IndiaToday.in
In 2016, India had signed an intra- governmental agreement with France. It bought 33 Rafale fighter jets for 59,000 crore INR. Earlier this year, in February, Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister, had informed the country that by 2022, India would have a fleet of Rafale jets. On Saturday, the IAF Chief confirmed the statement made by the Defence Minister. He disclosed that there have been minor delays because of the mayhem of Coronavirus all over the world, but they have also made some deliveries ahead of time.
To quote the chief- "The target is 2022. It is absolutely on target. I mentioned earlier. Except for one or two aircraft, minor delays because of COVID related issues, but, in fact, some deliveries have been ahead of time. So, broadly, we are absolutely on target on the Rafale induction plan.On the operationalization plan, you are aware, we are fully operational.. so, in terms of time, we will be absolutely on time."
The reporters also asked about his assessment of the present situation in Eastern Ladakh. To which he replied both sides are ‘talking’. Their first upshot is to continue with the parleys followed by de-escalation at the ‘balance friction points’.
“The first attempt is to continue with the talks and do the disengagement at the balance friction points. And, of course, follow it up with de-escalation." Mr. Bhaduria said.
However, to assure, he also mentioned that they are closely monitoring the movements in Indo- China border and anything that they find illicit will be acted upon accordingly.