French Defence Minister arrives in Delhi, to attend Rafale induction ceremony at Ambala


NEW DELHI: French Defence Minister Florence Parly arrived here in the national capital on an official visit on Thursday morning, ahead of the formal induction of the first five Indian Air Force Rafale jets at Ambala.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of the Armed Forces of France Florence Parly will be the Chief Guest for the Rafale induction ceremony at Air Force Station in Ambala.

This will be Parly’s third official visit to India since 2017.

To be formally inducted in the IAF, the Rafale fighter aircraft will be part of 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows.” The first five Indian Air Force Rafale aircraft arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala from France on July 27, 2020.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO along with other senior officers of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces will be present to mark a very important milestone in the history of the IAF.

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

A large delegation of senior functionaries of French Defence Industries which includes Eric Trappier Chairman and Chief Executive of Dassault Aviation and Eric Beranger, CEO, MBDA will be present during the ceremony.

At Ambala the program will include the ceremonial unveiling of the Rafale aircraft, a traditional ‘Sarva Dharma Puja’, Air Display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well as by ‘Sarang Aerobatic Team’.

Afterwards, a traditional water cannon salute will be given to the Rafale aircraft. The programme will culminate with the ceremonial induction of Rafale aircraft to 17 Squadron.

After the ceremonial events, the Indian and French delegation will have a bilateral meeting. (ANI)