NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will formally induct the five Rafale fighter aircraft into the Indian Air Force (IAF) service on September 10 at the Ambala air base in Haryana. French Defence Minister Florence Parly is likely to attend the ceremony as he is invited mark the strategic friendship between the two countries.
The news agency ANI reported from Defence source that the induction ceremony would be held after the return of Defence Made Minister from Russia where he scheduled to attend the meeting of Defence Ministers member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation from September 4 to 6.
“The first five Rafales are going to be inducted into the Indian Air Force on September 10 by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. India is also inviting the French Defence Minister Florence Parly for the event,” top government sources said.
Five Rafale fighter aircraft have started extensive training within 24 hours of touching down in the country after landing in soil of India on July 29.
India has contracted for 36 Rafales under the largest-ever defence deal signed by the country worth over Rs 60,000 crore of which the majority payments have already been made to the French firm Dassault Aviation.