The Indian Air Force (IAF) is scheduled to revive the 101 “Falcons of Chamb” squadron at Hashimara in West Bengal, with another batch of four Rafale fighters arriving from Merignac-Bordeaux airbase in France on May 19-20. Advance units have already moved into the new base.
Although the exact date of the Rafale’s arrival in India will be decided by the availability of UAE Air Force mid-air refuellers and weather conditions, it is clear that all 36 aircraft will be delivered well before April 2022, as Union defence minister Rajnath Singh announced in Parliament.
The IAF will have 24 Rafale fighter jets in India by the end of May, with another seven being retained in France for training purposes and only five more to be handed over until the two squadrons are complete.
Egypt has put an order for 30 Rafale fighters, so the final five aircraft will arrive in the second half of 2021.