The Indian Air Force Wednesday formally inducted the Rafale aircraft into the 101 Squadron of the Eastern Air Command—this is the second IAF squadron to be equipped with the new fighter jets.
The second squadron is being raised at Hasimara Air Force Station in West Bengal. The first squadron—17 Golden Arrows—was raised in Ambala, Punjab in September last year.
Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria presided over the induction ceremony. Eastern Air Commander Air Marshal Amit Dev was also present. “The event also included a fly-past heralding the arrival of Rafale aircraft to Hasimara followed by a traditional water cannon salute,” an Air Force statement said.
Bhadauria said that the induction of Rafale had been carefully planned at Hasimara, keeping in mind the importance of strengthening IAF’s capability in the Eastern Sector
Bhadauria urged “the personnel to combine their zeal and commitment with the unmatched potential of the newly inducted platform”.
The 101 Squadron was formed on May 1, 1949 at Palam. It has operated the Harvard, Spitfire, Vampire, Su-7 and MiG-21M aircraft in the past, and participated in the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan wars.