The 5 Rafale Jets of the first phase which arrived in India on June 29 are formally inducted in 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ today (September 10) at Air Force Station in Ambala. The 4.5Gen fighter planes with advanced and proven capabilities will strongly enhance India’s defence system.
French Defence Minister made an appearance
The induction ceremony marked the Rafale’s fully operational entry into IAF. The ceremony was formally inducted by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for the induction ceremony French Defence Minister Florence Parly was also invited. Under the largest-ever defence deal signed by the country, India contracted for 36 Rafale aircrafts worth over Rs 60,000 with the French firm Dassault Aviation. The majority of the payment had already been paid.
Rafale will be a game-changer for IAF
The Rafales are armed with the air-to-air Meteor, air to ground SCALP and Hammer missiles and are expected to provide the Indian Air Force with an advantage over China and Pakistan in the South Asian airspace due to its long-range hit capabilities. The five Rafale aircraft which arrived in the country include three single-seaters and two twin-seaters. The deal was signed in September 2016 with former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and national security advisor Ajit Doval.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO along with other senior officers of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces were present to mark a major milestone in the history of the IAF. Eric Trappier Chairman and Chief Executive of Dassault Aviation and Eric Beranger, CEO, MBDA also attended the Induction Ceremony.
Rafale deal ‘stepping stone’ for France-India friendship
Rafale Jets were presented by Sarang Team of IAF which was followed by the salute the water cannons. Induction ceremony marked the strong strategic ties between the two countries France and India and the development of the friendship with a futuristic outlook.