On Monday 27 July, the first five Rafale aircraft purchased by India took off from Mérignac for India. These five Rafales will be accompanied by two A330 Phoenix MRTT, one of which will carry medical aid to help fight COVID-19. This aid comprises test equipment and ventilators, together with a detachment of experts.
Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, welcomes this dual-purpose mission: “France is actively engaged alongside India. I’m proud that the Rafale deliveries have started, reflecting the strength of our strategic partnership. Moreover, the exchange of best practice between armed forces on managing COVID-19 will benefit everyone.”
The French forces are supporting the conveyance of five Rafale aircraft from France to India. This is the delivery of the first five Rafales provided for in the contract India and France signed in 2016 for the delivery of 36 Rafales. The five aircraft are refuelled in flight by an A330 Phoenix.
This mission will be used to provide India with medical assistance to help fight COVID-19, in coordination with the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, by:
- transporting all equipment and dedicated personnel by means of an A330 Phoenix (MRTT): 70 ventilators and 100,000 test kits.
- supplying part of the medical expert team: 10 SSA [Armed Forces Health Service] and service personnel.
- presenting capabilities and modus operandi which the armed forces can implement in this type of crisis in support of the civilian health authorities and to ensure the continuity of their operations. Lessons Learned (“RETEX”) undertaken by the Ministry for the Armed Forces will therefore be shared with our Indian partner./.
Translation courtesy of the French Embassy in the UK