Ambala: Faced with the threat of China and Pakistan, the ‘Rafale’ fighter jets, purchased from France will be deployed at Ambala and Hasimara bases of air force. Accordingly, a senior IAF official said that the work of upgrading these two bases of the Air Force has been started
Last year, India had decided to purchase 36 ‘Rafale’ aircrafts from France. The first two squadrons of the French aircrafts will be deployed at strategically important air bases. Identifying the threat of India’s traditional enemy Pakistan and China, ‘Ambala’ and ‘Hasimara’ air bases have been selected for the deployment of Rafale.
The Air Force base at ‘Ambala’Haryana, is 220 km away from the Pakistan border, and is considered to be one of the most strategically important bases if war erupts with Pakistan. Deploying these planes on this base means that India can attack the eastern as well as northern borders of Pakistan without crossing it.. At present, two squadrons of ‘Jaguar’ aircrafts and one squadron of ‘MiG-21 Bison’ is deployedat the base. The charge or responsibility of this base which was established in 1948 was first shouldered by late Air Marshal Arjan Singh. . The upgradation of this 70-year-old base has been sped up. Keeping in mind the fact that the squadron of ‘Rafale’ will be stationed here for a long time, the base is being upgraded accordingly with the requirements for the next 40 to 50 years. .
After the decision to deploy ‘Rafale’ aircrafts in Ambala, the expert teams from the French company ‘Dassault’, which has built these aircrafts, have visited the base many a times and have handed the final infrastructure requirement plan for the planes, an Air Force official said.. He further said that Rs. 220 crore has already been approved for the upgradation of ‘Ambala’ base.
Meanwhile, the work of upgrading the air force base at ‘Hasimara’ in West Bengal has also begun. The second squadron of ‘Rafale’ will be deployed at this base. This base located in the district of Alipurduar in West Bengal is near the border of India and Bhutan. This base is not too far from area of the Doklam in the Chumbi Ghat, which was the cause of tension between India and China inthe recent past. This signifies the strategic importance of this base.
According to the deal for Rafale jets made with France of Rs. 59,000 crores, France will make changes required by India in these jets. It will include Israeli helmet mount display, radar warning receiver, jammer, infra red and tracking system. These fighter planes will be equipped with state-of-the-art weapons. This includes the ‘Meteor’ missiles that can accurately penetrate the target within the range of 150 km distance. It is claimed that no other countries possess such missile.
News of India considering buying more ‘Rafale’ aircrafts from France, after the delivery of 36 Rafale planes had surfaced some time ago. Considering India’s security requirements, India needs another 200 aircrafts and many companies are competing for this requirement.