Sarsawa air base likely to host first Rafale squadron
New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) The first squadron of Rafale fighter jets are likely to be based at the Sarsawa air base of Indian Air Force in Uttar Pradesh, informed sources said on Friday.
According to sources, the air base is being geared up for the squadron, while two more bases are to be identified.
The deliveries of the aircraft will start in September 2019 and will be completed in April, 2022.
Sources said a team from Dassault Aviation visited the air base last month, and a feasibility test was carried out. The infrastructure for hosting the squadron and its maintenance is being created at the air base.
The Sarsawa air base comes under the Western Command of IAF.
The first squadron is likely to have 12 fighters, including pair of trainers.
India and France signed an inter-government agreement for purchase of 36 Rafale fighters off shelf on September 23 this year. This was after a long negotiation between the two countries over the price and other aspects of the deal which was agreed upon during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France in April 2015.
The procurement includes a provision for offsets of 50 percent of the value of the Aircraft and Weapons Package, excluding the value of Performance Based Logistics and Simulator Annual Maintenance, which will be discharged by the vendors through purchase of eligible products supplied by Indian firms.