NEW DELHI: Three Rafale jets are presently in India for an exercise with the Indian Air Force at the Maharajpur air base in Gwalior even as the Congress continues its attack on the Centre alleging that the deal to buy 36 fighters from France was made a higher price. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has defended itself claiming that they have got the best price and in turn trained guns at the UPA for compromising with national security by not buying the jets during its term earlier.
The Rafale aircraft landed in Gwalior on Sunday evening. The French pilots have reportedly made a layover while returning from Exercise Pitch Black, the multilateral air training exercise that concluded recently in Australia.
During the exercise in Australia, the Indian Air Force pilots had got a first-hand experience of the Rafale jet when a pilot was onboard the fighter aircraft. The IAF pilot flew onboard the Rafale as part of the exchange sorties during the Integration Training week of Exercise Pitch Black in Australia.
#ExPitchBlack18 : As part of the exchange sorties during the Integration Training week, Indian Air Force contingent member, got an opportunity to fly onboard a French Rafale fighter aircraft.
We are working together as a team & learning from each other... pic.twitter.com/puEQpOKg0R
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) August 11, 2018
"We are working together as a team and learning from each other," The IAF tweeted along with photos of the pilot inside the fighter jet.
India had, for the first time, participated in Exercise Pitch Black which concluded on August 18 in Darwin in Australia. With the participation of 16 nations and more than 140 aircraft, the current edition was the largest Pitch Black ever conducted by Australia.
The Indian contingent to Australia comprised of 145 air-warriors including IAF Commandos team, Garuds, 04 X Su-30 MKI, 01 X C-130 and 01 X C-17 for logistic support for induction and de-induction.
During the exercise which began from 24 July and concluded on 18 August, the IAF contingent interacted with various countries, gained first-hand experience of training patterns, employment and operating philosophies of their combat assets.