New Delhi : Photographs of India’s first Rafale jet fighter, shot by French Photographer JP Dewan are handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) a few days ago. India is buying 36 Rafale jet fighters from France, out of which 4 jets will be inducted into IAF on October 8, 2019.
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Manufactured by the French aerospace company Dassault Aviation, the 36 Rafale jets consists of 28 single-seaters and eight twin-seater trainers. The Rafale in flight, as seen in the photograph is a twin-seater trainer jet and carries the tail number RB 001, after Air Marshall Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.
Originally, India was supposed to buy 126 Rafale jets under a deal that would have seen 108 of those fighter aircraft built in India. However, continued delay in finalising the deal under the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government led the Narendra Modi government to cancel the order in 2015.
It was only a few months later, India and France signed an agreement to buy 36 Rafale jets. It is noteworthy that in 2017, the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi raised the issue of Rafale deal alleging Modi government of price escalation and favouritism in the Rafale deal, after which the Supreme Court of India even agreed to hear a public interest writ petition but eventually dismissed all the petitions seeking a probe into the alleged irregularities in the deal on December 2018.