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February 11, 2013

Trust Rafale, she won't let you down: French tell IAF

"Stopping the terrorists, that's done." This was the curt statement given to the media by French minister Laurent Fabius after a successful bombing raid on key terrorist establishments in the Northern Mali town of Gao on January 12.

The mission was accomplished by a fleet of four Rafale fighter planes, the winner of India's Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal.

"When we were asked to launch attacks, we scrambled four of our Rafale fighters to Mali from France. The jets reached their target within 9 hours 35 minutes. Twenty-four assigned targets were destroyed by our boys before they returned," he said during his interaction with Indian Air Force pilots.

General Denis Mercier, Chief of Air Staff, French Air Force, added: "I am here as a pilot and an air chief to tell young pilots here what she (Rafale) is capable of. The first thing I told every pilot I met is that this machine is battle-proven and she won't let you down," he said.

The aircraft has proved itself in Afghanistan, Libya and now in Mali. "In future, we want to hold exercises with IAF to tell them what we have learned during these days of combat," he added.


Times of India

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