In historic moments for the Indian Air Force, the first batch of five Rafale combat jets on Wednesday entered the Indian air space on its way to Ambala airbase from France.
The fleet landed at Al Dhafra airbase on Monday in the UAE after flying for over seven hours from the Merignac airbase. It was the only stopover by the jets while flying from France to India.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's office said the Rafales are escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs after they entered the Indian air space.
According to reports, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will receive the fleet at Ambala. The Rafale jets are India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in over two decades, and they are expected to significantly boost the Indian Air Force's combat capabilities.
In view of Rafale fighter jets landing in the city on Wednesday, Section 144 has been imposed in four villages close to Ambala airbase. Munish Sehgal, DSP Traffic, Ambala, said the administration is on a high alert and the gathering of people on roofs and photography during landing has been strictly prohibited.
He added that these steps have been taken as it is a matter of national security. "In view of Rafale's landing tomorrow, the administration is on a high alert. Section 144 has been imposed in four villages closer to Ambala airbase," he said. The administration has prohibited pictures of Air Force Station from places such as Dhulkot, Baldev Nagar, Garnala and Panjokhara.
(Inputs from Agencies)