Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday stated that "India will have to retaliate if someone tries to "destabilise" the country," while speaking about the induction of Rafale fighter jet, and its significance. According to him, the inclusion of Rafale fighter jets is for the Army, Navy and Air Force, and the motive behind it is self-defence and not for attacking anyone. Calling his tryst with Rafale as "good", he further stated that its induction will enhance the strength of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The first of the 36 French-built Rafale fighter jet bearing the tail number RB-001 was formally handed over to India on Tuesday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had met French President Emmanuel Macron earlier on Tuesday after an official handover ceremony of the first Rafale fighter jet that was acquired by the IAF. According to reports, Singh has termed the meeting as 'fruitful'. Further, Singh happily welcomed France as a vital strategic partner of India during the meeting at Élysée Palace in the French capital of Paris.
The first-ever Rafale fighter jet was handed over to India on Tuesday. The Defence Minister received the jet at the handing-over ceremony in Bordeaux, France, in the presence of French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly. The jet carries the tail number RB 001 which has been named after Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria who played a key role in signing the Rafale deal. Singh performed a Shastra Puja (worship of weapons) on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami after receiving the jet. Along with this, the ceremony had coincided with the foundation ceremony of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 36 Rafale fighter jets signed between the Government of India and Government of France on September 23, 2016.
(With ANI inputs)