The delivery of the first 5 Rafale aircraft to the Indian Air Force, in July 2020, had known a resounding media and popular success, to the point of representing a real national event in India. The next delivery of 3 additional devices, which will take place on November 4, could also generate a lot of interest. Indeed, in addition to the decisive role that the new device will play in deterrence and in the air force of the Indian Air Force while tensions with Pakistan and China continue to grow, this delivery will be in it. - even spectacular, since the 3 combat planes will make the trip between the French base from Istre and the Indian base of Jamnagar in India in one go, non-stop, in just 8 hours of flight. Officially, this decision from the Indian authorities makes it possible to avoid refueling in the United Arab Emirates (as during the first delivery), while the United States fears Iranian strikes In the region.
For this, the aircraft will be accompanied, throughout the journey, by an A330 MRTT Phoenix refueling aircraft, which will carry out 3 in-flight refueling of the hunters to cover the approximately 6000 km which separate the two aerodromes, crossing 6 time zones for this. This show of force, because it is one of them, has several objectives for Dassault and the Rafale team, first and foremost that of demonstrating the reliability and the great confidence that the manufacturer has in its devices, capable of barely leaving the factory ( or almost), to carry out a ferry flight of extraordinary duration. In addition, this demonstrates the aircraft's ability to conduct long-distance flights, even though French Air Force pilots had already performed operational flights of more than 10 hours, in Mali in particular.
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