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New Delhi, September 9, 2020
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will formally induct the Rafale fighter jets on Wednesday at Air Force Station, Ambala.
The aircraft will be part of 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”. The first five IAF Rafale aircraft arrived at Ambala from France on July 27.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces of France will be the chief guests at the event.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO, along with other senior officers of the 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 during the ceremony.
Parly will be given a ceremonial guard of honour on arrival in Delhi. At Ambala, the programme will include the ceremonial unveiling of the Rafale aircraft, a traditional all-religion prayer, air display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well as by the Sarang aerobatic team.
Afterwards, 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 delegations will have a bilateral meeting.