First five Rafale jets land at Ambala air force station: Rakshamantri Rajnath Singh welcomes Rafale fighters, warns China and Pakistan against threatening India's territorial integrity

    29-Jul-2020   
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The first five Rafale jets landed in Ambala Wednesday afternoon. They greeted with water cannon salute at Ambala Air Force base. The Rafale jets were escorted by two Sukhoi MKI supersonic fighters as they entered Indian airspace.
 
After entering Indian Airspace, Indian Rafale contingent was welcomed by establishing radio contact with Indian Navy warship INS Kolkata, deployed in the Western Arabian Sea.
 
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the touch down of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in country's Military History. In a series of tweets, he said, these multirole aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the Indian Air Force. The Defence Minister congratulated the Indian Air Force on a professionally executed ferry.
 
He expressed confidence that 17 Squadron, the Golden Arrows, will continue to live upto their motto of "Udayam Ajasram". Rajnath Singh expressed happiness that Indian Air Force’s combat capability has got a timely boost. He said, the Rafale jets were purchased only because Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the right decision to get these aircrafts through an Inter-Governmental Agreement with France, after the long pending procurement case for them could not progress.
 
 
Shri Rajnath Singh thanked him for his courage and decisiveness. He also thanked the French Government, Dassault Aviation and other French companies for ensuring the timely delivery of the aircraft and its weapons, despite the severe restrictions posed by COVID pandemic. The Defence Minister said, this aircraft has very good flying performance and its weapons, radar and other sensors and Electronic Warfare capabilities are amongst the best in the world.
 
He said, its arrival in India will make the Indian Air Force much stronger to deter any threat that may be posed on our country. The Rafale jets were purchased when they fully met the operational requirements of the IAF. He said, the baseless allegations against this procurement have already been answered and settled. The Defence Minister added that if it is anyone who should be worried about or critical about this new capability of the Indian Air Force, it should be those who want to threaten our territorial integrity.
 
The aircraft covered a distance of nearly 7,000 kilometres from France to India with mid-air refuelling and a single stop at a French airbase in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
 
Indian Embassy in France in a statement said, delivery of ten aircraft has been completed on schedule but five will stay back in France for training Mission.