Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has informed that the Indian Air force (IAF) will formally induct the first batch of five Rafale jets at 10 am on Thursday at Ambala airbase. Singh added that the aircraft will be part of the 17 Squadron, the "Golden Arrows". The twin-jet fighter aircraft is India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in more than two decades," Singh said in a tweet.
At 10.00 AM tomorrow, #Rafale aircraft will be formally inducted into @IAF_MCC at the Air Force Station in Ambala. The aircraft will be part of 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”. The Rafale jets are India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in more than two decades.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 9, 2020
Watch: Rafale fighter aircraft at the Indian Air Force station in Ambala
#WATCH Rafale fighter aircraft at the Indian Air Force station in Ambala, today morning. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will formally induct the five Rafale fighter aircraft into the Indian Air Force, today. pic.twitter.com/aM8JVkXdQm— ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2020
Rafale fighter aircraft at the Indian Air Force station in Ambala, today morning.— ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2020
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will formally induct the five Rafale fighter aircraft into the Indian Air Force, today. pic.twitter.com/Pgz82SeCHv
About Rafale's induction ceremony; all you need to know
Guestlist: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, his French counterpart Florence Parly, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar will attend the ceremony. The French delegation at the ceremony will include French envoy Emmanuel Lenain, Air Gen Eric Autellet, Vice Chief of French Air Force, Chairman and Chief Executive of Dassault Aviation Eric Trappier and CEO of missile maker MBDA Eric Beranger.
Florence Parly has arrived at Delhi's Palam airport.
#WATCH Florence Parly, Minister of Armed Forces of France arrives at Delhi's Palam airport. She is the chief guest for Rafale induction ceremony at Air Force Station, Ambala pic.twitter.com/Z2V086HouC— ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2020
About the ceremony: The programme will begin at 10 am in Ambala. First, a traditional 'Sarva Dharma Puja' will take place. Thereafter, an air display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well as by the 'Sarang aerobatic team' will be held.
IAF Spokesperson Wing Commander Indranil Nandi said a traditional water cannon salute will be given to the Rafale fleet before its ceremonial induction into the 17 Squadron of the IAF.
About the Rafale deal
1. In September 2016, India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 Rafale jets at a cost of around Rs 59,000 crore. The purchase was made to further strengthen the Indian Air Force's combat capabilities.
2. The five rafale aircraft arrived in India on July 29, 2020. The second batch of four to five Rafale jets is likely to arrive by November.
3. Ten Rafale jets have been delivered to India so far and five of them stayed back in France for imparting training to IAF pilots. The delivery of all 36 aircraft is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.
4. In total, twelve IAF pilots and engineering crew members have received complete training on the Rafale fighter jets.
5. While the first squadron of the Rafale jets will be stationed at Ambala airbase, the second one will be based at Hasimara base in West Bengal.
6. Out of 36 Rafale jets, 30 will be fighter jets and six will be twin-seater trainers and will have almost all features of the fighter jets.
About Rafale fighter jets:
According to Dassault Aviation, Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. It has capabilities to carry out all combat aviation missions: air superiority and air defence, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.