On 10th September, the first batch of five Rafale jets was officially inducted in Indian Air Force at Ambala Air Base, Haryana. The jets left France on 27th July and reached Ambala Air Base on 29th July. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, his counterpart from France Florence Parly, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhaduria attended the ceremony. India is the fourth country after France, Qatar and Egypt to have Rafale jets in its Air Force.
Rafale induction ceremony
At around 8:20 AM, Florence Parly reached Delhi for the induction ceremony. She was the chief guest for the ceremony at Ambala Air Base. Parly received the Guard of Honour on her arrival at the Air Base. After the Sarva Dharma Puja and flypasts by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs and Jaguars, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh officially handed over the jets to Commanding Officer 17 Squadron.
The ceremony began with the traditional Sarva Dharma puja followed by an air display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft along with Sarang aerobatic team.
In his address on the occasion, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh said that Rafale induction is a big and stern message for the entire world, especially to those eyeing our sovereignty. He added, “This induction is important considering the kind of atmosphere at our borders or should I say the kind of atmosphere created at our borders.”
आज इनका induction, पूरी दुनिया, ख़ासकर हमारी संप्रभुता की ओर उठी निगाहों के लिए एक “बड़ा और कड़ा” संदेश है। हमारी सीमाओं पर जिस तरह का माहौल हाल के दिनों में बना है, या मैं सीधा कहूँ कि बनाया गया है, उनके लिहाज़ से यह induction बहुत अहम है: रक्षा मंत्री— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) September 10, 2020
He further said that India rook major steps under the strategic-partnership model for the manufacturing of defence equipment including the establishment of two defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states.
Strategic-partnership model के तहत Defence equipment की manufacturing, automatic route के द्वारा 74% तक Foreign Direct Investment, Uttar Pradesh और Tamil Nadu states में दो defence corridors की स्थापना, Offsets reforms इस दिशा में उठाए गये बड़े कदम हैं: रक्षा मंत्री— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) September 10, 2020
In her address, Florence Parly said that The induction ceremony is an achievement for both India and France. It is a new chapter in India-France defence ties. She further added that France is fully committed to ‘Make in India’ initiative and further integration of the Indian manufacturers in their global supply chain.
We are fully committed to ‘Make in India’ initiative, as well as, to the further integration of the Indian manufacturers in our global supply chain: Minister of the Armed Forces of France Florence Parly https://t.co/VdwR0NGrno— ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2020
The ceremony was wrapped up with the official induction of Rafale jets in Indian Air Force as Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh presented the electronic document and a scroll to commanding officer 17th squadron.
Raksha Mantri @rajnathsingh presented the electronic document and a scroll to commanding officer 17th squadron symbolizing formal induction of Rafale aircraft into Indian Air Force. pic.twitter.com/YXruR8RRXQ— Prasar Bharati News Services (@PBNS_India) September 10, 2020
The Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition in 23 years after Sukhoi jets that were bought from Russia. Rafale can carry deadly weapons, including Scalp cruise missile and MBDA’s Meteor beyond air-to-air missile. Rafale jets are being inducted in the Indian Air Force amid increasing tension between India and China. The Ambala Air Base is considered to be the strategic location to provide air support on the border areas with China and Pakistan.