Ending the typical military-style chat, the Naval officer wished happy landing to the pilot. In return the pilot also prayed for the fair winds to come to the aid of the warship.
Just as the news of the arrival of the first batch of five Rafale jets came, the whole country set the decks to welcome the state-of-the-art aircraft into the country. Preparations were done to the finest detail at the Ambala air base where the five aircraft were supposed to land after covering the distance of over 7,000 kilometre. Two Sukhoi 30 MKI jets were also roped in to escort the long awaited Rafale aircraft into the Indian territory according an apt military honour to the newest entry into the fleet of the Indian Air Force.
However, the military sprang another surprise from a little unexpected quarters. Far away from the focus of the day in Ambala, the Indian Navy welcomed the Rafale jet in its own style. Its warship INS Kolkata stationed in the Western Arabian sea established contact with the Indian pilot who was leading the contingent of the Rafale aircraft and ushered the aircraft in.
In an audio recording of around 30 seconds posted by news agency ANI, the Captain of the warship can be heard welcoming the lead pilot of the Rafale contingent into the Indian Ocean. In reply came the voice of the pilot, laced with the commotion of high winds, thanking the Naval officer for the grand welcome. The pilot added that he was most assured to see the Indian warship guarding the frontiers at the sea. Ending the typical military-style chat, the Naval officer wished happy landing to the pilot. In return the pilot also prayed for the fair winds to come to the aid of the warship.
INS Kolkata Delta63: Arrow leader (flying #Rafale),welcome to Indian Ocean
Rafale leader: Many thanks. Most reassuring to have an Indian warship guarding seas
INS Kolkata: May you touch the sky with glory. Happy landings
Rafale leader: Wish you fair winds. Happy hunting. Over&out https://t.co/WlEyiZTtg5
— ANI (@ANI) July 29, 2020
Traversing for another few hours, the first batch of five Rafale jets successfully landed at the Ambala Air Force base this evening. The jets were received by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also shared welcome tweets from their official twitter accounts. Singh also shared a small clip of the aircraft landing on the base.
This was the first batch of the 36 Rafale jets that the country has imported from France’s Dassault Rafale at an estimated cost of over Rs 58000 crore through an inter-governmental agreement with the government of France.