Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said everybody is “excited” about tomorrow’s event where the Rafale aircraft will be officially inducted into the Indian Air Force.
“Naturally, everyone is excited about Rafale coming to India and Rafale will be handed over tomorrow, you too should witness the ceremony,” Rajnath told ANI here.
Earlier in the day, while leaving for France on a three-day visit, the defence minister said he is looking forward to deepening ties with the country.
“Leaving New Delhi for Paris on a three-day visit to France. Shall attend the Annual Defence Dialogue and the Induction Ceremony of Rafale. India-France bilateral relations have made tremendous progress in recent years. Looking forward to further and deepen these ties,” he stated in a tweet.
During his visit, he will receive the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets manufactured for India. On October 8, the Defence Minister is scheduled to meet the French President Emmanuel Macron.
Though the Rafale planes would be officially inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) with the Defence Minister’s visit, they would start arriving in India only in May 2020 after training of pilots and personnel on it.
From the IAF, newly appointed Vice Chief Air Marshal HS Arora is scheduled to accompany the Defence Minister for receiving the aircraft.
After the meeting, Singh will proceed to Bordeaux to participate in the Rafale fighter jet handing-over ceremony at Merignac along with the French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly.
Singh will also perform the ‘Shastrapuja’ on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami and fly a sortie in the Rafale fighter jet.