"The Birds have landed safely in Ambala", Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, adding if anyone should be anxious about the Indian Air Force's new capability, it should be those who want to threaten "our territorial integrity".
There were lengthy negotiations between the then UPA government and Dassault on prices and transfer of technology.
The arrival of five Rafale fighter jets at the Ambala airbase on Wednesday triggered a Sanskrit tweet by the Prime Minister, muscle-flexing by the defence minister and wall-to-wall coverage by several TV channels.
The IAF has constructed additional facilities at the Ambala air base to station the Rafale, including hangars, aircraft bays etc. Air Force Station Ambala is one of India's oldest, having been established in 1919.More news: Twitter reveals exactly how bitcoin scammers hacked Elon Musk's, Kim Kardashian's accounts
Each jet was given a special water cannon salute at the strategically-located air base in the presence of top brass of the Indian Air Force including Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria who had played a key role as lead negotiator in their procurement. The IAF received the Rafale jets 23 years after it imported Sukhoi-30 Ks from Russian Federation in 1997.
India bought 36 Rafale fighters from France in a deal estimated to be worth $9.4 billion.
Air Chief Marshal (retd) Arup Raha, under whose tenure the mega deal was inked, said the induction of the fleet will bolster the IAF's capability, but added that the country needs at least 126 combat jets as envisaged earlier.
Currently, the base has two squadrons of the Jaguar combat aircraft and one squadron of the MiG-21 Bison.
Indian pilots trained on the plane and flew them on the 8,500-kilometer (5,280-mile) journey from France to India. The delivery of all 36 aircraft will be completed on schedule by the end of 2021, it said. At the same time, India has got a big success by joining fighter air Rafale Air Force. Each Rafale can also carry two fire-and-forget Scalp cruise missiles to hit high-value fortified targets well over 300-km away.More news: Jack Grealish in demand as Arsenal register interest in Aston Villa midfielder
The IAF is also procuring new generation medium-range modular air-to-ground weapon system Hammer to integrate with the Rafale jets. Whereas in the French Air Force it was incorporated in the year 2006. The weapon has been developed by MBDA to combat common threats facing the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Sweden. The Meteor is powered by a unique rocket-ramjet motor that gives it more engine power that also lasts much longer than any other missile. "It is going to bolster IAF's capabilities in terms of aerospace power which has been dwindling for quite some time as there has been no induction of combat jets for quite sometime", he told PTI.
The jets took off from the Merignac airbase in French port city of Bordeaux on Monday and landed in UAE for overnight halt.
Dassault was settled as a provider in 2012, and the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was picked as partner to produce 108 jets in India.
Visuals posted by the IAF on Tuesday showed the jets refuelling at a height of 30,000 feet.More news: Manchester City close to snapping up star winger Ferran Torres