The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday formally inducted five Rafale jets at the Air force station in Ambala, Haryana. They have been inducted to the Air Force’s ‘Golden Arrows’ 17 Squadron.
The induction ceremony is attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of the Armed Forces of France Florence Parly, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhaduria and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.
The Rafale jets, built and engineered by French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, are known for air-superiority and precision strikes on ground targets.
The ceremony at Ambala aibase saw air display of a Rafale jet being flanked by SU-30 and Jaguar aircraft in arrow formation. Following which, water canon salute was given to the Rafale jets. Sarang aerobatics team’s also performed various manoeuvres as an air display.
“This induction couldn’t have happened at a better time given the present security situation. Rafale will dominate wherever and whenever they are deployed,” said IAF Chief RKS Bhadauria.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the induction as a “game changer and said that it represents the strong ties between India and France.
“The induction has come at an apt time when a tense situation has been created on our borders,” he added.
The first batch of five aircrafts arrived in India on July 29. The second batch of five jets is likely to arrive in India by November. A total of 36 aircrafts are slated to be delivered by the end of 2021.
Rajnath Singh and his counterpart Florence Parly will be holding talks after the ceremony on ways to further deepen bilateral defence and security cooperation after the ceremony.