The first batch of five Rafale combat jets on Wednesday entered the Indian air space and are on their way to Ambala air base from Al Dhafra air base in the UAE, where they were on an overnight halt.
The jets are to boost the capabilities of the Indian Air Force following a spat between India and China. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh did not miss out on the opportunity to take a potshot at the neighbours. "I would like to add, if it is anyone who should be worried about or critical about this new capability of the Indian Air Force, it should be those who want to threaten our territorial integrity," he said in a tweet.
The Rafales are escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs after they entered the Indian air space.
According to reports, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will receive the fleet at Ambala. The Rafale jets are India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in over two decades, and they are expected to significantly boost the Indian Air Force's combat capabilities.
In view of Rafale fighter jets landing in the city on Wednesday, Section 144 has been imposed in four villages close to Ambala air base. Munish Sehgal, DSP Traffic, Ambala, said the administration is on a high alert and the gathering of people on roofs and photography during landing has been strictly prohibited.
He added that these steps have been taken as it is a matter of national security. "In view of Rafale's landing tomorrow, the administration is on a high alert. Section 144 has been imposed in four villages closer to Ambala air base," he said. The administration has prohibited pictures of Air Force Station from places such as Dhulkot, Baldev Nagar, Garnala and Panjokhara.
(Inputs from Agencies)