A few days ago, we talked about the very tense situation between India and China in the Ladakh region, and the way in which this crisis prompted the Indian Air Force to accelerate its Rafale deliveries, while increasing its Russian MiG and Sukhoi numbers. Based on knowledgeable Indian sources, it is now possible to understand the extent of the efforts deployed by France in order to quickly provide a first operational capacity for the Rafale DH, the two-seater variant of the Indian Rafale.
In 2015, after years of hesitation and fruitless negotiations, India decided to buy 36 Rafale fighter planes as an emergency to replace the aging IAF MiG-21 and MiG-27. The first Indian Rafales were officially received by the Indian Air Force in the fall of 2019 during a ceremony held in Bordeaux-Mérignac, in the presence of the Indian Minister of Defense, Rajnath Singh. However, the eight two-seat Rafales of the Indian command remain initially based in France, where they are used to supplement the training of Indian pilots. One of the DH Rafale is also dedicated to integration tests and flight tests of equipment developed specifically for the Indian variants.
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