Paris: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flew in a Rafale jet in France after India got possession of the jets from that country. With this Singh becomes the first Defence Minister to fly in a Rafale jet.
The Defence Minister took a sortie from Merignac in France accompanied by the head test pilot of Dassault Aviation, Philippe Duchateau, who flew the fighter jet.
Rajnath Singh had performed a ‘Shastra Puja’ of the Rafale jets before taking possession of the jets from France under the Inter-Governmental Agreement which was signed in 2016.
The Defence Minister said, “I am happy that the delivery of Rafale aircraft is on schedule, I am confident that this will add further strength to our Air Force. I wish cooperation between our two major democracies further increases in all sectors.”
He added, “Today marks a new milestone in India-France strategic partnership. In India, today is the festival of Dussehra also known as Vijayadashmi where we celebrate victory over evil. It is also the 87th Air Force Day, therefore the day becomes symbolic in so many ways,”
Rajnath Singh also told that Rafale means gust of wind in French and said that it would live up to its name. He also told that Rafale will boost India’s air dominance exponentially.
By February 2021, India will get delivery of 18 Rafale by February 2021 and by April-May 2022, it will get all 36 aircraft.
#WATCH Mérignac(France): #Rafale jet carrying Defence Minister Rajnath Singh takes off for a sortie. It is being flown by Philippe Duchateau, head test pilot of Dassualt Aviation. pic.twitter.com/i99hZmB7aF
— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2019