India's first batch of five Rafale jets successfully took off from France after four long years and behind this success is India's air attaché to France, Air Commodore Hilal Ahmad Rather.
Air Commodore Rather, who hails from Kashmir's Anantnag, saw off the first batch of Rafale jets. Among other things, he has also been associated with the weaponisation of the Rafale aircraft for acclimatisation to Indian requirements.
Nearly four years after France and Russia inked an inter-governmental agreement to supply 36 of the multi-role jets to the Indian Air Force in a Rs 59,000-crore deal, the first batch of 5 Rafale fighter aircraft took off from France to India, successfully on July 27. The jets are said to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet in Ambala in Haryana on Wednesday, July 29.
Lesser known facts about Hilal Ahmad Rather
Did you know? Air commodore Hilal has an impeccable record of 3,000 accident-free flying hours on mirage-2000, MIG-21 and Kiran aircraft. Scroll down to read other facts about the officer.
- Born in the south Kashmir's Anantnag district to Hilal's father, late Mohammad Abdullah Rather retired as a deputy superintendent of police (Dy SP) in J&K police dept.
- Hilal studied in Sainik School in Nagrota town of Jammu district.
- Commissioned in IAF as a fighter pilot on December 17, 1988.
- He became flight lieutenant in 1993, wing commander in 2004, group captain in 2016 and air commodore in 2019.
- He graduated from defence services staff college (DSSC).
- He also graduated from air war college (USA) with distinction.
- He won the sword of honour in NDA.
- Hilal is a recipient of Vayu Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva medal.