Here's the first glimpse of Indian Air Force's 'Rafale RB 002' in air

SUKIRTI MISHRA 09/10/2019 17:45:52

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh formally took delivery of the first of the 36 long-awaited French-made aircraft acquired by the Indian Air Force at a ceremony in Merignac, France, on Tuesday


New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh officially received the delivery of the first of the 36 long awaited French aircraft obtained by the Indian Air Force at a ceremony in Merignac, France on Tuesday. The first set of photos of the second Rafale Jet- RB 002 have been released. The 3 aircrafts, namely, RB 001, RB 002 and RB 003 denote the initials of Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria who played a prime role in striking the deal for the jets in his previous role as IAF deputy chief. 


As per the sources, Rajnath Singh attended the handover ceremony of RB 001 and his French counterpart Florence Parly at aircraft maker Dassault Aviation facility in Merignac, southwestern France. He performed a Shastra Puja on the new aircraft as he emblazoned it with an 'Om' tilak and laid flowers and a coconut, just before taking off in it for a sortie in the newly-acquired two-seater jet.  


We do not purchase arms and other defence equipments to threaten any country but to increase our capabilities and strengthen our defences," added the Defence Minister. He stressed that the strong cooperation between India and France will continue to grow and contribute to global peace, prosperity and environmental sustainability. Notably, this range of Rafale fighter jets have been specially designed to meet the needs of the IAF. 


Evidently, India had ordered 36 Rafale fighter jets from France in a deal worth Rs 59,000 crore in September 2016. While the formal handover ceremony takes place this week, the first batch of 4 Rafale jets will fly to their home base in India by May 2020. All 36 jets are expected to arrive in India by September 2022, for which the IAF has reportedly been undertaking preparations, including readying required infrastructure and pilots' training. 





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