Defence Minister Rajnath Singh boarded a French military plane for Mérignac, where he will receive the first of the 36 Rafale fighter jets at a facility of Dassault Aviation on Tuesday, October 8. While this is a formal ceremony, the first batch of four aircraft will reach India only by May 2020. In the video, a lot of French military officials are seen to be seated in the plane along with the small Indian contingent, which includes Singh. Later, he is seen talking to a French military officer.
#WATCH France: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on-board a French military aircraft in Paris. He is travelling in the aircraft from Paris to Mérignac to receive the first Rafale combat aircraft. pic.twitter.com/FSGwZjjiCA— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2019
Earlier, the Defence Minister met his counterpart Florence Parly and the defence advisor to the French President, Admiral Bernard Rogel. He also met the French President Emmanuel Macron. Their talks lasted for nearly 35 minutes. While Singh did not immediately reveal what transpired in these engagements, it assumes significance ahead of the induction of the Rafale jet. Both these meetings took place at the Élysée Palace in Paris.
Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh has reached the Elysée Palace to call on the President of France @EmmanuelMacron.— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) October 8, 2019
He is meeting the Minister for the Armed Forces, Ms Florence Parly and the Defence Advisor to the French President, Admiral Bernard Rogel. pic.twitter.com/pBK4oIA74l
The government of India signed a deal with the French government and Dassault Aviation to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets to bolster India’s urgent requirement on the eastern and western borders in September 2016. It costs more than 7.8 billion euros. Being a 4.5 generation aircraft, it will become IAF's most modern fighter jet. Furthermore, missiles like the Meteor and the Scalp would ensure that the IAF can strike enemy territory nearly 600 km away without crossing the air space. Some of the other India-specific modifications include radar warning receivers, low band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, infra-red search and tracking systems.