The Rafale jets are IAF's 'sikandar' and it is a proud and historic moment for Ambala that they are stationed at the air base here, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Wednesday said.
Vij said the people of Ambala were very enthusiastic about the arrival of the jets.
"The Rafale jets are IAF's 'sikandar', which will significantly boost its combat capabilities and further add to our country's security umbrella," he said about the multi-role combat fighter aircraft.
"It is a proud and historic moment for us that the first batch of five Rafale jets is being inducted into IAF from Ambala," Vij, who is a six-term legislator from Ambala Cantt, told PTI.
The fleet, comprising three single seater and two twin seater aircraft, have been station at IAF's Ambala-based No 17 Squadron, also known as the 'Golden Arrows'. They landed in the afternoon.
Vij said the Ambala air base is a very old and strategic one. "It became functional in 1948. It is one of the strategic air bases in north India. We also got first of Jaguar aircrafts at Ambala... It has also played a pivotal role in 1965 and 1971 wars," Vij, who is also the state's health minister, said.
Located on the east side of Ambala, it is used for military and government flights. Currently, the air base has two squadrons of the Jaguar combat aircraft and one squadron of the MIG-21 'Bison'. Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh was the first commander of the Ambala base in independent India.
The Mirage fighters that were used for the air strike in Balakot in Pakistan in February 2019 after the Pulwama terror attack had taken off from here.