India Gets 1st Rafale Fighter: Rajnath Singh Performs Shastra Puja in France, Takes Sortie in Jet; Watch Video
Rajnath performs shastra puja, takes sortie in Rafale Jet (Photo Credits: Twitter/ ANI)

Paris, October 8: In a major boost to the Indian Air Force (IAF), Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday received the first of the 36 Rafale Jets. After receiving the Singh performed all the rituals of the Shastra Puja. He wrote the auspicious symbol “Om” on the fighter plane. The Defence Minister also took a sortie in the Dassault Aviation’s warplane. Rafale Fighter Boosts IAF Arsenal: Images of 1st 'Omnirole' Aircraft of Dassault Aviation Received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Before taking the sorties, Singh was briefed by IAF officials. Philippe Duchateau, head test pilot of Dassualt Aviation flew the fighter jet. While speaking to reporter, Singh said, "It was a very comfortable and smooth flight. It was an unprecedented moment, I had never thought that one day I will fly at super sonic speed in a combat aircraft." By Febrary 21, the IAF will receive 18 Rafale jets.

Rajnath Singh's Interaction With Reporters:

The handing over ceremony took place at Merignac, a suburb of the south-western French town of Bordeaux. Speaking at the event, the Defence Minister expressed happiness. He also exuded confidence that defence ties between both India and France will be strengthened. First Rafale Jet Handed Over to India; Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Take Sortie in Dassault Aviation's Warplane.

Rajnath Singh Performs Shastra Puja:

ANI's Rajnath Singh Taking Sortie in Rafale Jet:

ANI's Tweet:

Rafale jet has a tail number RB001, named after the current chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RK Bhadauria. The ceremony coincided with the 87th foundation day of the IAF. The first jet will arrive in India in May next year. Rafale jets will be part of Squadron 17 at Ambala Airbase. The second squadron of Rafale will be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal.