First Rafale Jet Handed Over to India; Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Take Sortie in Dassault Aviation's Warplane, View Pics
Rajnath Singh took delivery of first Rafale Jet (Photo Credits: ANI)

Paris, October 8: India on Tuesday received the first of the 36 Rafale aircraft at an event at Merignac, a suburb of the south-western French town of Bordeaux. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took the delivery of the first aircraft. Senior Indian Air Force (IAF) officers and officials of Dassault Aviation were also present at the event. After taking the delivery of the Rafale jet, Singh will perform the Shastra Puja on the occasion of Dussehra. IAF Receives 'Acceptance' Rafale Jet From Dassault Aviation.

The Defence Minister will also take a sortie in the Rafale jet. Speaking at the event, Singh expressed happiness. He said, "I am happy that the delivery of Rafale aircraft is on schedule, I am confident that this will add further strength to our Air Force. I wish cooperation between our two major democracies further increases in all sectors." Singh left to Paris on Monday on a three-day visit.

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The ceremony coincided with the foundation day of the IAF as well as the day when Dussehra is celebrated in India. The first jet will arrive in India in May next year. Rafale jets will be part of Sqaudron 17. Last month, the then IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal (Retd.) BS Dhanoa resurrected the 17 Squadron at the Ambala Air Force Station. The "Golden Arrows" 17 Squadron was commanded by Air Chief Marshal (R) Dhanoa during the Kargil war in 1999. The second squadron of Rafale will be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal.

India signed a 7.87 Billion Euro deal with France government in September 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets. A number of IAF teams have already visited France to help Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of Rafale, incorporate India-specific enhancements on-board the fighter aircraft.

The Rafale jets will come with various India-specific modifications, including Israeli helmet-mounted displays, radar warning receivers, low band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, infra-red search and tracking systems among others.