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Thursday, 10 September 2020

Grand ceremony awaits formal Rafale induction

Chandigarh, September 9

A grand ceremony awaits the formal induction of Rafale fighter aircraft into the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Air Force Station in Ambala on Thursday, with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces of France, being the chief guest on the occasion.

The aircraft will be part of No. 17 Squadron, the Golden Arrows. The first batch of five Rafale aircraft arrived in India from France on July 27 after covering an aerial distance of about 8,500 km. A total of 36 Rafale are to be inducted into the IAF with two squadrons, the other being No. 101 squadron at Hasimara in the North-East.

Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Defence Secretary, Ajay Kumar, Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development, and Chairman, DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, along with other senior officers of the Ministry of Defence and armed forces will attend the event, being described by the IAF as a very important milestone in history.

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

A large delegation of senior functionaries from French defence industries, which include Eric Trappier, Chairman and Chief Executive of Dassault Aviation, and Eric Beranger, CEO, MBDA, will be present during the ceremony.

Florence Parly will be presented a ceremonial guard of honour on her arrival at New Delhi. At Ambala, the programme will include ceremonial unveiling of the Rafale aircraft, a traditional 'sarv dharma puja', air display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well a performance by the Sarang helicopter aerobatic team.

A traditional water cannon salute will be given to the Rafale aircraft.

from The Tribune

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