Jammu & Kashmir

Fighter Pilot from Kashmir sees off first Rafale take off for India

Srinagar: The first batch of five Rafale fighter jets, on Monday, took off from France’s Bordeaux – Merignac facility for India. This was four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement, in 2016, with France to get 36 Rafale jets for the Indian Air Force.

52-year-old, Air Commodore Hilal, who was previously, according to a report by News18, associated with the weaponisation of the Rafale aircraft for acclimatisation of Indian requirements, saw off the first batch of the jets that are scheduled to reach India on Wednesday.

Son of a retired DSP, the IAF fighter pilot, an alumnus of Sainik School (J &K), is a Sword of Honour awardee – the highest award to a cadet.

Also a recipient of Vayu Sena and Vishisht Seva Medals, Hilal became Flight Lieutenant in 1993 and Wing Commander in 2004. In 2016, he was made Group Captain and an Air Commodore in 2019.

Many people on social media have showered praises for the IAF officer who has a record of 3,000 accident-free flying hours on different aircraft.

“Hilal’s father was with the police in J&K when he got commissioned into the IAF in 1988. The family often faced threats and while others got married in their sprawling bungalows in Anantnag, Rather had to rent out a two-room flat in Nagrota in Jammu two days before his marriage in 1993 for safety reasons,” Times of India quoted one of Hilal’s family members as having said.

In October 2019, a video of IAF pilot Hilal was widely shared where he was seen preparing for Shashtra Puja along with Group Captain in front of Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh.

To meet the emergency requirement of the Indian Air Force, India had signed the Rafale deal worth 59,000 Crore with France.


Free Press Kashmir is now on Telegram. Click here to Join.

Click to comment
To Top