Rafale Fighter Aircraft inducted into Air Force

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 10, 2020

The Rafale Fighter Aircraft has been formally inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday. The first five Rafale aircrafts had arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala from France on July 27 this year. They will be part a of the 17th Squadron, the Golden Arrows.

Speaking on the occasion, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Rafale deal was a game-changer for India’s national security and its induction is a strong message for the world and especially for those who challenge India’s sovereignty.

“The intentions of the military are as strong as it can be,” he said.

“Strengthening our defence is aimed at achieving international peace and stability and we do not want to take any step that can endanger international peace. We have the same expectation of our neighbours and other countries of the world,” he added.

Claiming that the Rafale induction reflected close India-France strategic relations, Singh said: “We have cooperated closely in a number of areas to enhance our defence cooperation. As part of the transfer of technology agreement, six Scorpene submarines are being built at the Mazagaon Docks. On the basis of this partnership, the first submarine, INS Kalvari was commissioned in 2017.”

He also highlighted the Indo-French cooperation in dealing with common challenges like maritime security and piracy in the Indo-Pacific region and IOR.

Singh also pitched for French investments in the Indian defence manufacturing sector. He highlighted the policy reforms that have been initiated such as manufacturing of defence equipment under the strategic-Partnership model, enhancing foreign direct investment up to 74 per cent by the automatic route, establishment of two defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and reforms in offsets. “I am confident that French defence industries will take advantage of this and France will continue to be our partner in our journey of indigenisation”, Singh said.

Published on September 10, 2020

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