After more than a month-long wait, the first batch of the five Rafale jets will formally get inducted to Indian Air Force (IAF). The five Rafale jets will get inducted to IAF as part of the 17 Squadron at Ambala Air Force Station on September 10.
The French-based fighter jets will now formally become part of the Indian Air Force’s 17 Squadron “Golden Arrows”. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and French Minister of Armed Force, Florence Parly are attending the key event. Chief of Defence Staff, Bipin Rawat, and Air Force Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria are also present in the event.
Apart from the Florence Parly, the French delegation of France’s ambassador to India, Emmanuel Lenain, Air General Eric Autellet is also attending the event. The Vice Chief of Air Staff of the French Air Force and Chief Executive of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier will also attend the event.
Today’s event will include the ceremonial unveiling of Rafale jets, a traditional Sarva Dharma puja. There will also be an air display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well as by the Sarang aerobatic team.
India inked the inter-governmental deal with France in September 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets of worth Rs. 59,000 crores. Five jets have already arrived in India. Also, another batch of jets is likely to arrive in October 2020. However, the last batch of Rafale jets will arrive by the end of 2021. The five jets have undergone several processes to become operational as soon as possible. Also, the pilots and ground crew underwent comprehensive training on the aircraft. The training also includes highly advanced weapon systems.