How Indian Air Force's future Rafale squadron faces threat from Ambala-bred pigeons

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 08 July 2019, 10:02 AM

As the Indian Air Force prepares to induct Rafale fighter jets in its squadron, it is facing another kind of threat to the future squadron of the French-built combat planes. According to a Zee report, the Indian Air Force is concerned about locals in the Haryana town breeding pigeons. The report says the proximity of the birds to the fighter airbase has forced the IAF to look into the solution. The report says the concerns has been taken rather seriously and the Indian Air Force has filed a complaint with the local administration to resolve the issue.

The report comes days after a Jaguar fighter jet suffered a bird hit in Ambala last month. The professionalism and quick thinking by the young pilot of Indian Air Force (IAF) not only saved a Jaguar fighter jet but also lives of many civilians after it was hit by a bird during take-off at Ambala air base last month. The IAF also released a 48-second video of the bird hit and the pilot’s maneuver of jettisoning two additional fuel drop tanks and CBLS Pods despite most serious emergencies staring in his face.

One of the fuel tanks landed in a residential area near Ambala air base but no one was injured, added district administration officials.

“Bird hit resulted in the failure of one of its engines. Despite most serious emergencies staring in his face, the young pilot assessed the situation in seconds, jettisoned two additional fuel drop tanks & CBLS Pods as per Standard Operating Procedure & safely landed the jet,” the Air Force said.

Praising the young pilot, IAF said, “His actions bear testimony to highest professional standards of IAF resulting from extensive operational training. The professionalism & quick thinking by the pilot not only saved a war waging asset but also lives of many civilians in the area adjoining the airfield.”

Recently, French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler had said that the first Rafale fighter aircraft will be delivered within two months and it will be "perfectly on time".The senior diplomat told PTI on the sidelines of a function here that all 36 Rafale jets will be delivered to the Indian Air Force within the next two years. Calling it an excellent aircraft, he said it would add a lot to the capacity of the Indian Air Force.

As part of change in the current structure, the Indian Air Force will deploy Rafale squadrons at Haryana’s Ambala and West Bengal’s Hashimpura bases respectively. At present, the number 3 ‘Cobra’ squadron of MiG-21 Bison fighter jets has been deployed in Ambala since 1997. But with Rafale taking over the fighter base in next two years, the ‘Cobra’ squadron will be shifted to Rajasthan’s Nal air base.

The Indian Air Force is all set to receive its first Rafale combat aircraft in its "Golden Arrows" 17 Squadron which was commanded by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa during the Kargil war in 1999. "The first unit to receive the Rafale combat aircraft would be the 17 Squadron which was earlier located in Bhatinda in Punjab and will now be shifted to Ambala in Haryana," IAF sources told ANI.

First Published: Monday, July 08, 2019 09:43 AM
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