Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, on Thursday, congratulated the Indian Air Force (IAF) for adding five Rafale fighter jets to its fleet saying it is a 'massive upgrade for our defence forces'.
Tendulkar, who holds the honorary rank of Group Captain in IAF, took to Twitter and wrote, "Heartiest congratulations to #IndianAirForce for adding the state-of-the-art fighter jet Rafale, to our fleet. It's a massive upgrade for our Defence Forces who are tirelessly protecting our nation in the skies. Jai Hind."
On Thursday, five Rafale fighter jets touched down at Haryana's Ambala after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km to join the IAF.
The jets were given a customary water salute upon their arrival at the airbase, some 220-km from the India-Pakistan border.
The formal induction ceremony of the aircraft would be held later. The aircraft would move out soon to another operational base for operational sorties.
After taking off from France on Monday, the aircraft made their first stopover at a French base in the United Arab Emirates on their way to India and were refuelled by the French Air Force tanker aircraft somewhere around Greece or Israel over the sea before landing there.
The five Rafale were flown by pilots of the 17 Golden Arrows led by Commanding Officer Group Captain Harkirat Singh along with other pilots, Wing Commanders MK Singh, R Kataria, Sidhu and Arun.
The five Rafale fighter aircraft took off on Monday for India from an airbase in France.
India had signed a Rs 59,000-crore deal on September 23, 2016 for 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.