Five Rafale fighter jets in Indian airspace.
Five Rafale fighter jets in Indian airspace. Image credit: Financial Express

The Indian Air Force will formally induct the Rafale aircraft on Thursday at the Air Force Station in Ambala.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces of France will be the Chief Guest at the event.

The aircraft will be part of 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”. The first five aircrafts reached the Indian Air Force Station in Ambala on July 27 from France.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar will attend the ceremony.

G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO, along with other senior officers of Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces will be present to mark a very important milestone in the history of the IAF.

The French delegation will be represented by Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, Air General Eric Autellet, Vice Chief of the Air Staff of the French Air Force and other senior officials.

A large delegation of senior functionaries of French Defence Industries which includes Eric Trappier Chairman and Chief Executive of Dassault Aviation and Eric Beranger, CEO, MBDA will be present at the ceremony in Ambala.

Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces of France will be given a ceremonial Guard of Honour on arrival at Delhi.

At Ambala, the program will include ceremonial unveiling of the Rafale aircraft, a traditional ‘Sarva Dharma Puja’, Air Display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well as by ‘Sarang Aerobatic Team’.

A traditional water cannon salute will be given to the Rafale aircraft. The programme will culminate with the ceremonial induction of Rafale aircraft to 17 Squadron. After the ceremonial events the Indian and French delegation will have a bilateral meeting.

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