09/10/19: Yesterday, India got the formal delivery of the first of the 36 long-awaited Rafale fighter jets bought from the Dassault Aviation in France.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was on a three-day visit to France and later accepted the handover at a facility of Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation in Bordeaux.
Preceded by Shastra Puja, the ribbon-cutting ceremony was held as per the rituals of Dussehra festival. The minister also went for a sortie in the aircraft – a process that was also meant to test the India-specific adaptations made.
With the national flag as the backdrop, the minister cracked a coconut and marked the aircraft with the Sanskrit mantra “Om”, before starting on the sortie.
“Rafale is a very capable aircraft, once we induct it, it will be a gamechanger in terms of our operational capability and when we use it in combination with SU-30 and other fleets which we have, we would have a serious jump in our capability,” he said.