Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh received first Rafale fighter jet from the French manufacturer Dassault Aviation at Merignac in southwestern France, a statement issued by India’s Defense Ministry stated on Tuesday.
Singh received the aircraft at the handing-over ceremony in the presence of French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly.
The multibillion deal to acquire 36 Rafale jets was signed between India and France in September 2016. The delivery of jets is scheduled to be completed by 2022.
Speaking on the occasion, Singh said that the induction of Rafale fighter jets into the Indian Air Force will give a boost to India’s air dominance exponentially, adding that the occasion signifies the depth of the strategic partnership between India and France.
The minister is on a three-day visit to France, which will cover a tour of a facility owned by French multinational Safran – the company which produces the engines for the Rafale fighter jets – on Wednesday morning.
He will conclude his tour with a meeting with captains of French business and industry around the merits of the Make in India initiative, during which he will also extend a formal invitation for them to participate in the DefExpo to be held in Lucknow from February 5 to 8, 2020.