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Rafale fighters quietly flew into India amid uproar over alleged scam

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Three jets quietly flew into for a three-day halt at military bases in a low-key military diplomatic affair, apparently due to the political storm raging over alleged irregularities in the purchase of the fighter from a French firm.

The three jets flown by the (FAF) pilots were returning from Exercise Pitch Black 2018 at Darwin in Australia, in which 16 nations from across the globe, including the Indian Air Force, had taken part.

The fighter and transport staged through Air Force Station, Gwalior, and Air Force Station, Agra, from September 1-4, an IAF said.

The French jets took off on Tuesday evening from The Maharajpur airbase in is home to two Mirage 2000 squadrons. Both and Rafale are manufactured by the same French maker - Dassault

"During the staging period, FAF and IAF carried out basic joint training, which included fighter sorties by pilots in their respective aircraft with observers onboard each other's transport aircraft supporting the missions.

"This interaction with FAF provided a unique opportunity for exchange of experience and sharing of best practices during cooperative deployment," the said.

During the military drill in Australia, it is believed that Indian fighter pilots flew in the same three Rafales.

Though a picture of one of the three jets in had emerged on the on Tuesday, the official announcement regarding their stay was only made a day after their departure.

Usually, such military diplomatic events are widely publicized.

Apparently, the halt of Rafale jets was not announced in advance because of the allegations of massive irregularities in the Rafale deal. The has maintained that the was procuring each aircraft at a cost higher than the rate finalised by the



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 05 2018. 19:20 IST