New Delhi/Sep,10 :Five Rafale jets were on Thursday formally inducted into IAF with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his French counterpart Florence Parly in attendance.Earlier, Rajnath Singh held a brief conversation with his French counterpart Florence Parly on ways to further boost bilateral defence cooperation.
The talks took place at Palam Air Force station soon after Parly arrived on a day-long visit to participate in a ceremony in Ambala to mark formal induction of the first batch of Rafale aircraft into the Indian Air Force.The French defence minister was also given a ceremonial guard of honour at the airport.Later, both Singh and Parly left for Ambala.The aircraft are part of the IAF’s 17 Squadron, known as ‘Golden Arrows’. It was resurrected in September last year.
The first five Rafale aircraft had arrived in Ambala from France on July 27, 2020. The jets flew from the Merignac airbase in the port city of Bordeaux and landed for a stopover at Al Dhafra airbase in the United Arab Emirates after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km. A day later, they flew again and landed at the Ambala airbase.The induction programme will include ceremonial unveiling of the Rafale aircraft, a traditional ‘sarva dharma puja’, air display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well as Sarang aerobatic team.
Afterwards, a traditional water cannon salute will be given to the Rafale aircraft. The programme will culminate with the ceremonial induction of Rafale aircraft to the 17 Squadron.
Rafale would be a game changer in the current scenario when India is involved in border tension with China in eastern Ladakh. The aircraft will increase India’s air power manifold.Rafale is a 4.5 generation aircraft and has latest weapons, superior sensors and fully integrated architecture.