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Indian Air Force formally inducts 5 Rafale jets in fleet at Ambala airbase

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 17:12, September 10, 2020

NEW DELHI, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday formally inducted the first batch of five Rafale fighter jets in its arsenal, officials said.

The induction ceremony was held at Air Force Station in Ambala of Haryana state, adjacent to Indian capital Delhi.

India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and his French counterpart Florence Parly attended the event and watched the aircraft flying at low-speed during an air display.

"IAF has formally inducted the Rafale aircraft in 17 Squadron Golden Arrows today, at Air Force Station, Ambala. The ceremony also marks Rafale's full operational entry into IAF," said a brief statement issued by IAF.

The first five Indian Air Force Rafale aircraft had arrived at the Ambala airbase from France on July 27 this year.

Reports said the second batch of aircraft is expected to arrive in India by the end of November this year.

The IAF would be acquiring a total of 36 Rafale jets from France and all the aircraft are expected to be inducted into IAF by the end of 2021.

Officials said Rafale aircraft is India's first major acquisition of fighter aircraft for IAF after Sukhoi.

India in 2016 signed a deal with France for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets in a bid to bolster the country's military image.

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