New Delhi :  The first five batch of French Rafale fighter jets are all set to arrive at Haryana’s  Ambala this afternoon after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km to join  the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet. The nuclear – capable fighter jets are touted to be a game changer for India, especially in the current scenario where the country is facing border tension with china.

Chief of Air Staff RKS Bhadauria  who played a key role as lead negotiator for mega deal, will receive the five rafale fighter jets at Ambala today. A Rs 59,000 – crore deal was signed on sept 23, 2016 for 36 rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation. Security was very tightened near air base , because it located around 200 km from the border with Pakistan, and large gathering have been banned in four villages nearby.

According to media report, Water salute to be given to the five Rafale fighter aircraft after their landing at Ambala airbase in Haryana today.

 There are also restrictions on people gathering on rooftops and any filming or photography during the landing of jets. Section 144 has been imposed near Ambala airbase ahead of Rafale touchdown.

A local MLA has urged people to light candles this evening to welcome the jets. The jets, piloted by IAF officers, took off from Merignac in southwest France and refueled midair on the way. 

The two A330 Phoenix MRTT refueling planes from the french Air Force, one of which is carrying 70 ventilators,1,00,000 test kits and a team of 10 health experts to aid in the fight against coronavirus.

Delivery officially started in October last year when last year when the first Rafale jet was handed over to the IAF during a visit to France by defence minister Rajnath Singh. The planes are expected to boost india air power massively amid tension with china and Pakistan.

The india -bound batch of rafales include three single – seater and two twin – seater aircraft. They are being flown to India by seven Indian pilots, including commanding officer of the number 17 squadron “The Golden Arrows”, will be stationed at the Ambala air base ,which has been upgraded for the purpose. 

Many officials acknowledged Rafale as the game changer for India and said Chinese J 20 does not even come close to this megajet.