Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday undertook a sortie in IAF's new Rafale jet at the Merignac airbase in France. Following the sortie, he spoke to the media and said, "Today was the handing over ceremony of the Rafale combat jet. This was completed successfully after the Shastra puja." After the flight, he also mentioned that there was no motive to attack anyone and that the Rafale jet will only make the Air force stronger.
Rajnath, who is on a three-day visit to France, said the handover event marks a new milestone in Indo-France relations. India had ordered 36 Rafale fighter jets from France in a deal worth Rs 59,000 crore in September 2016. He also informed that the jet was more than capable of engaging in air-air combat and air-land combat.
Further speaking about the handing over ceremony, Rajnath Singh said that the Defence Minister of France handed over the Rafale jet to him after the Shastra Puja. He also apprised about India's roadmap of receiving 18 Rafale jets by 2021.
"Today was the handing over ceremony of the Rafale combat jet. This was completed successfully after the Shastra puja. The Defence Minister handed over the Rafale jet to me. Approximately by 2021, we will receive 18 Rafale jets. By April 2022, we will receive all 36 Rafale jets."
Taking a sortie in Rafale was a memorable and once in a lifetime experience. The induction of Rafale will go a long way in strengthening our national defence.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 8, 2019
India will receive the first 18 Rafale jets by February 2021. By April-May 2022 we will receive all 36 jets. pic.twitter.com/we4UeSwdG5
Adding to his statements, he also said that "we do not purchase arms and other defence equipment to threaten any country but to increase our capabilities & strengthen our defenses."
After his flight, Rajnath Singh lauded PM Modi's decisiveness because of which there has been an enlargement in India's combat capabilities.
We do not purchase arms and other defence equipments to threaten any country but to increase our capabilities & strengthen our defences.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 8, 2019
The credit for the acquisition of the Rafale jets must go to PM @narendramodi . His decisiveness has greatly benefited our national security.