One of the pilots of Rafale fighter jets hails from Gurugram

Updated: 29 July, 2020 21:09 IST | IANS | Mumbai

Rohit studied in the Army school in Karnal before joining the National Defence Academy. He was later commissioned as a flight lieutenant in the Indian Air Force

Rafale fighter jet. Pic/IAF Twitter
Rafale fighter jet. Pic/IAF Twitter

One of the pilots of the first batch of five Rafale fighter jets which touched down in Ambala on Wednesday belongs to Gurugram in Haryana. Rohit Kataria, a native of Basai village in Gurugram, flew one of the jets from France to India. His grandfather Narayan Singh said that it was an emotional moment for him and the entire family, when Rohit Kataria was selected as one of the Rafale pilots.

"We had waited for this historic moment when such advanced fighter jets appeared in the air around Ambala airbase and landed there. It was a moment of pride for us," Singh said. Rohit studied in the Army school in Karnal before joining the National Defence Academy. He was later commissioned as a flight lieutenant in the Indian Air Force.

On April 10, 2015, an Indo-French joint statement for the acquisition of 36 Rafale jets in flyaway condition through an inter-governmental agreement was issued. A controversy erupted when the first deal for 126 jets was cancelled by the current NDA government and a deal for 36 jets in flyaway condition was finalized with the French government.

The opposition parties had smelt a scam in the deal and it became a poll issue in the 2019 general elections.

Rafale has the capacity to carry atomic warheads and defence experts believe that the technology used in manufacturing this jet is much better than the F16 jets owned by neighbouring Pakistan and the Chinese J 20 fighter jets.

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First Published: 29 July, 2020 20:54 IST

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