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Oct 08, 2019 23:16 IST


Bordeaux [France], Oct 8 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday acquired the primary of the 36 French-built Rafale fighter jet bearing the tail quantity RB-001 within the French port metropolis of Bordeaux and carried out ‘Shastra Puja’ on the auspicious event of Vijayadashami.
French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly, members of the highest army brass of France in addition to senior officers of Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale have been additionally current on the handover ceremony.
The RB within the tail quantity denoted the initials of Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria who performed a key function within the signing of the most important ever defence deal of India price above Rs 60,000 crore for 36 fighter planes.
The ceremony coincided with the inspiration ceremony of the Indian Air Power (IAF).
Singh carried out Shastra Puja (worship of weapons) after receiving the primary of the 36 Rafale jets within the French port metropolis of Bordeaux on Tuesday. He wrote “Om” on the jet and introduced flowers and a coconut on it.
He flew a sortie on the newly inducted French-built Rafale, which was formally handed over to India right here on Tuesday. The jet was flown by Philippe Duchateau, head check pilot of Dassault Aviation.
This was Singh’s second sortie in a fighter jet in a span of a month. He earlier flew within the LCA Tejas which was not too long ago inducted within the IAF.
After the sortie, the minister stated that the jet has elevated fight functionality of the IAF and the nation is doing this for “self-defence”.
“The handing over ceremony of Rafale was accomplished after pooja. The French defence minister has handed over Rafale to me. We are going to get 18 Rafale jets by February 2021 and relaxation 18 will get all 36 jets by April-Could 2022. With the induction of Rafale, the fight functionality of the Air Power has elevated. Since we’re growing {our capability}, it doesn’t imply that we’re doing this to assault anybody however for self-defence. It will likely be like a deterrent,” he informed reporters right here.
Taking to Twitter, he posted: “We don’t buy arms and different defence equipments to threaten any nation however to extend our capabilities & strengthen our defences.”
Nonetheless, he stated that India must retaliate if somebody tries to “destabilise” the nation.
Singh described the trip as very comfy and clean flight and stated it was an unprecedented second. “I had by no means thought that sooner or later I’ll fly at supersonic pace in an plane,” he stated.
“Taking a sortie in Rafale was a memorable and as soon as in a lifetime expertise. The induction of Rafale will go a great distance in strengthening our nationwide defence,” he tweeted.
The Defence Minister gave credit score for the acquisition of the Rafale jets to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “His decisiveness has tremendously benefited our nationwide safety,” he stated.
In his handle on the Rafale handing over Ceremony in Merignac, Singh emphasised on the main target to equip the IAF and improve its capabilities, saying that the brand new Rafale Medium Multi-Function Fight Plane (MMRCA) will make India stronger and can beef up its air dominance exponentially to make sure peace and safety within the area.
“I used to be glad in realizing that a lot of India Air Power officers and airmen are being educated in France for flying, upkeep help and logistics for dealing with Rafale fighter plane and hoped the coaching in French amenities will assist the crew in buying data {and professional} experience required for performing their process in India,” he added.
The minister identified that the Rafale Venture Monitoring Group (PMT) from India has been positioned in France since August 2017 to make sure clean implementation of the mission.
“I hope the sturdy cooperation between two vital and enormous democracies will proceed to develop and contribute to world peace, prosperity and environmental sustainability”. He additionally pressured the significance of the ceremony saying it signifies the depth of the strategic partnership between India and France,” he stated.
The Inter-Governmental Settlement (IGA) for 36 Rafale plane procurement was signed between the Authorities of India and Authorities of France on September 23, 2016.
Earlier than coming to Bordeaux, Singh met France President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and later termed the assembly as ‘fruitful’.
“The assembly with France President was fruitful. He additionally mentioned his assembly with PM Modi. I’ve additionally conveyed him the regard of PM Modi. He thanked me for that. Macron stated that France has very previous strategic relations with India and the connection will likely be strengthened additional,” he informed ANI.
“Had a wonderful assembly with the President of France Mr Emmanuel Macron at Elysee Palace in Paris at the moment. We had a complete dialogue overlaying a variety of points,” he tweeted. (ANI)

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