Ambala (Haryana) : Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation CEO on Thursday said that if needed the aircraft manufacturer is open to providing more Rafale fighters to the Indian Air Force and the company is happy to make a new proposal or repeat the order.
“If the Indian Air Force would like to acquire more Rafale aircraft, we will be happy to make a new proposal or make repeat order,” Dassault Aviation Chief executive officer (CEO) told reporters.
Trappier’s remark follows the traditional ‘Sarva Dharma Puja’ at the Rafale induction ceremony, at Ambala airbase on Thursday.
“We are very proud to have been able to achieve and deliver on time, despite the COVID-19 situation which gave some problems. We had to be on time and we are proud that we are on time,” he added.
When asked about the past allegation about impropriety in the Rafale deal, he answered: “I have said in the past, it is a clean deal. It is a government to government deal and is part of the strategic relationship between India and France. It is good for democracies to be able to have a defence to be sure of peace.”
The first five Rafale aircraft will be part of 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”. The aircraft had arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala from France on July 27, 2020.
Over the timeline for delivery of remaining aircraft, Trappier added, “We are doing our best to deliver on time and sometimes we are in advance, which is good for the air force.”
Earlier today, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of the Armed Forces of France Florence Parly, witnessed the ‘Sarva Dharma Puja’ ceremony which had recitation of hymns, ayats, and mantras by priests of various religions.
This puja was followed by air display of Rafale fighter aircraft flanked by SU-30 and Jaguar aircraft in an arrow formation.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, among other senior officers of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces, were also present to mark a very important milestone in the history of the IAF. (ANI)