- Tail number 'RB-01' named after Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria
- Air Marshal has over 4,250 hours of experience on 26 types of aircraft
- He won 'Sword of Honour' for standing first in overall order of merit
The first all-weather multirole fighter jet Rafale that India will receive from France's Dassault Aviation SA has an interesting tail number - RB-01. The first of the 36 combat jets was handed over to India at the French plane-maker's facility in Bordeaux on Thursday. However, the jet will be officially inducted into the IAF on October 8 when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visits France.
The tail number 'RB-01' has been named after Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria, who will take over as the next Indian Air Force (IAF) chief by the end of September. The Air Marshal was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF in 1980. In his military career, he went on to win the coveted 'Sword of Honour' for standing first in the overall order of merit.
Air Marshal Bhadauria has over 4,250 hours of experience on 26 types of fighters and transport aircraft with the unique distinction of being an Experimental Test Pilot, a Cat 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor and a Pilot Attack Instructor, says his profile on the IAF website.
Air Marshal VR Chaudhary also took the Rafale for a spin in the skies above Bordeaux for an hour, news agency ANI reported.
India signed a deal with France and Dassault Aviation to buy 36 Rafale jets in a deal worth Rs 58,000 crore. All the fighter jets will start arriving in India only in May 2020 after the India specific enhancements, and pilot and maintenance personnel training are completed.
The Rafale features a delta wing with close-coupled canards. The flight control system (FCS) of the Rafale attains the highest level of flight safety by leveraging on the extensive experience of Dassault Aviation in fly-by-wire technology, with over one million flight hours without a single accident caused by the FCS, the company says on its website.