Sunday, 13 October, 2019


India Accepts First Rafale Fighter From France

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meets with Defence Advisor to the French President Admiral Bernard Rogel in Paris Tuesday Oct. 8 2019. Singh is in France for an official handover ceremony of the first Rafale fighter jet acquired by the Indian Ai Watch : 'Shastra Pooja' by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh upon delivery of first Rafale
Bennie Garza | 09 October, 2019, 22:59

India Today TV is India's leading English News Channel.

Singh, at the handover ceremony, flew a sortie in the Rafale-ostensibly to test the aircraft. "They are by far the most potent platform for our air defence", explained Air Marshall Harjit Singh Arora, the Vice Chief of Air Staff who accompanied the minister at the induction ceremony on Tuesday, which also marked the Air Force Day.

"Today, India is celebrating Dussehra". Shastra Puja has been an integral part of Dasara for ages.

Standing next to the plane, decorated in the colours of the Indian flag, Mr. Singh hailed a "historic and landmark day for the Indian armed forces", noting the Rafale "will add to the strength of our air force".

Before leaving for Bordeaux on the morning of Tuesday, Singh will meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and is expected to discuss issues relating to defence and security ties between the two countries.

"The meeting with France President was fruitful".

The $8.78 billion deal sparked controversy in India previous year with the main opposition Indian National Congress party accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government of buying the aircraft at almost three times the price being negotiated when it was the ruling party before Modi came to power in 2014. We will get 18 Rafale jets by February 2021 and rest 18 will get all 36 jets by April-May 2022.

Though Singh will receive the first of the 36 Rafale jets on Tuesday, the first batch of four aircraft will come to India only by May next year.

The multibillion deal to acquire 36 Rafale jets was signed between India and France in September 2016.

Rafale, a 4.5 generation multi-role combat aircraft, will greatly increase India's geo-political stature in South Asia because no other country, including Pakistan, has as advanced an aircraft in its inventory.

The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. Then IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa had resurrected this squadron - known as 17 Squadron or Golden Arrows - in September.

Half-a-dozen U.S. aircraft can probably destroy our entire air force, and possibly our entire artillery, tanks and missiles, too.

The Defence Minister gave credit for the acquisition of the Rafale jets to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The defence minister will participate in the Rafale handing over ceremony at Merignac along with French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly".

Meanwhile, Duchateau said that Rajnath Singh was flown at supersonic speed and was shown various aircraft manoeuvres.

The multi-role aircraft took off from an airstrip near the facility of the Dassault Aviation at 7:24 p.m. IST for a sortie that would last almost 30 minutes.

"The handing over ceremony of Rafale was completed after puja".

On September 19, Singh flew in the Tejas fighter aircraft from the HAL airport in Bengaluru, becoming the first defence minister to fly in the indigenously-built light combat aircraft.

However, several people explained on Twitter that this is how every "puja" or worship happens in India and how the focus must be on the benefits Rafale jets would bring to the Indian Army.

Why India badly needed Rafale fighters?

"India is set to become the third largest commercial market for aviation and we are keen to create a strong maintenance and fix base in India to serve customers", Andries said.

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