Defence Minister takes official delivery of Rafale fighter jet, performs 'Shastra Puja' ... Watch video
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took official handover of Rafale combat aircraft here on Tuesday.
Mérignac(France), Oct 8: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took official handover of Rafale combat aircraft here on Tuesday.
"I am told that Rafale is a French word meaning gust of wind. I am sure the aircraft will live up to its name. I believe Rafale will boost India's air dominance exponentially to ensure peace and security in the region," Singh said on the occasion.
Asserting that the state of the art fighter aircraft will boost India's defence capabilities, the minister opined that the defence deal will boost ties with France.
"I am happy that the delivery of Rafale aircraft is on schedule, I am confident that this will add further strength to our Air Force. I wish cooperation between our two major democracies further increases in all sectors," he said.
"Today marks a new milestone in India-France strategic partnership. I look forward to taking a sortie in the Rafale aircraft," he added.
Singh performed the Hindu tradition of 'Shastra Puja' or the worship of weapons before taking delivery of the fighter plane.
"In India, today is the festival of Dussehra also known as Vijayadashmi where we celebrate victory over evil. It is also the 87th Air Force Day, therefore the day becomes symbolic in so many ways," he said.
Dassault Aviation CEO Éric Trappierc welcomed the development adding that the contract with the Indian government will go ahead as planned.
"It is a great day for Indian Air Force and India, also for France and Dassault Aviation. We did what was in the contract and now it is ready to fly. We are very proud," he said.
Photo: Google Image