Related Topics: Internal Security, Indian Air Force
- The Indian Air Force (IAF) has resurrected the Air Force Station (AFS) Ambala-based 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’, which will operate the first squadron of Rafale fighter jets in the near future.
- Rafale is an extremely capable, 4th generation, multirole aircraft with advanced weapons.
IAF’s 17 Squadron
- The 17 Squadron was raised at Ambala on October 01, 1951, under the command of Flight Lieutenant D.L. Springett and initially equipped with the Harvard-II B aircraft.
- By November 1955, Squadron was converted fully to De Havilland Vampire.
- By 1957, Hawker Hunter aircraft were flown by the ‘Golden Arrows’.
- The Squadron was converted to the Mig-21 M in 1975.
- The ‘Golden Arrows’ 17 Squadron was commanded by Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa during the Kargil war in 1999.
- The squadron, which operated from Bhatinda airbase, was disbanded in 2016 after the IAF started gradual phasing out of Russian-origin Mig 21 jets.
- Between October 2019 and May 2020, three batches — each comprising eight IAF pilots along with engineers and technicians — would undergo advanced training on the Indian jets in France.
- The Indian standard Rafale incorporating all the India Specific Enhancements (ISEs) would be operationally ready, latest by September 2021.
- In September 2016, India and France signed a €7.87 billion Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 36 Rafale multi-role fighter jets in fly-away condition.