The Indian Air Force will formally induct the Rafale aircraft on 10th September 2020 at Air Force Station, Ambala. The aircraft will be part of 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”. Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces of France will be the Chief Guest for the event.
The Rafale aircrafts are manufactured by Dassault Aviation. “These are extremely swift, nimble, versatile and very deadly aircrafts. You might call them both beauty and beast. They are superb flying machines,” “This is going to add great deal of strength to our Air Power and it is also a symbol of the strategic partnership between India and France”, said Jawed Ashraf, Indian Ambassador to France who was there to overlook the delivery. TThe delivery of all 36 ordered aircrafts will be done by the end of 2021.
Florence Parly 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’. 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 delegation will have a bilateral meeting.
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 Mr Eric Trappier Chairman and Chief Executive of Dassault Aviation and Mr Eric Beranger, CEO, MBDA will be present during the ceremony.
India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Dr 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.