Paris, October 8: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh received the first of the 36 Rafale jets on Tuesday. The ceremony took place at Merignac, a suburb of the south-western French town of Bordeaux. After taking the delivery, the Defence Minister will also perform Shastra Puja. Singh will also take sortie in Dassault Aviation’s fighter jet. Speaking at the event, the Defence Minister said, “Today marks a new milestone in India-France strategic partnership. I look forward to taking a sortie in the Rafale aircraft.” First Rafale Jet Handed Over to India; Defence Minister Rajnath to Take Sortie in Dassault Aviation's Warplane, View Pics.
Singh also expressed happiness that the delivery of the much-awaited Rafale jet was on time. He said, “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.”
First Images of Rafale Jet:
Mérignac(France): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to take a sortie in the Rafale combat aircraft, shortly pic.twitter.com/jS9mhYbYtQ
— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2019
Rajnath Singh's Speech During The Event:
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 8, 2019
Senior Indian Air Force (IAF) officers and officials of Dassault Aviation were also present at the event. 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. Rafale jets will be fitted with weaponry according to IAF's needs. IAF Receives 'Acceptance' Rafale Jet From Dassault Aviation; India to Get First Aircraft on October 8.
In 2014 after coming to power, the Narendra Modi government scrapped the proposed deal of the previous United Progressive Alliance government and signed a new deal of 7.87 Billion Euro with the France Government to procure 36 Rafale jets. All the 36 fighter planes will be in “ready to fly” condition”. Earlier, the UPA government had proposed to acquire 126 Rafale jets from France. Out of these 18 were to be in “ready to fly condition” and rest were to be manufactured in India.