“The first batch of five IAF Rafale is likely to arrive in India by the end of July, 2020. The aircraft will be inducted at Air Force Station Ambala on July 29, subject to weather conditions,” an IAF spokesperson said in a statement.

“IAF aircrew and ground crew have undergone comprehensive training on the aircraft, including its highly advanced weapons systems and are fully prepared now. Post arrival, efforts will focus on operationalisation of the aircraft at the earliest,” he said.

The IAF announcement comes amidst the ongoing India China stand-off at eastern Ladakh, which is showing no sign of getting abated.

Official sources said the Rafale jets were likely to be deployed in the Ladakh sector as part of the IAF’s efforts to enhance its operational capabilities along the Line of Actual Control with China in view of the border row with the country.

In a separate statement, the IAF spokesperson said the top commanders of the force would take stock of the current operational scenario and deployments at a three-day conference here beginning Wednesday. The commanders conference will be chaired by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

“The plan of action for operational capability enhancement of the IAF in the next decade will also be discussed,” he said.