World News

India, France to deepen defence ties; agree to combat terrorism

India, France to deepen defence ties; agree to combat terrorism

The delivery of 36 Rafales is scheduled to be completed in 2022. After performing puja, he will take a sortie in the aircraft, officials said.

Standing next to the plane, decorated in the colours of the Indian flag, Singh hailed a "historic and landmark day for the Indian armed forces", noting the Rafale "will add to the strength of our air force".

Even 72 years after Independence India can not make, but has to buy, from foreign countries (at heavy expense) not only the heavy weapons for its military like fighter aircraft, submarines, artillery, tanks, missiles, etc but even many of its rifles.

The delivery of the first Rafale fighter by France to India is being celebrated with great fanfare and hoopla, as if India has secured a huge triumph.

Singh had kick-started his busy schedule with a meeting at Elysee Palace with President Emmanuel Macron for talks described as "warm and productive", as both leaders resolved to take the India-France relationship to a higher level.

Rajnath Singh was flown by Philippe Duchateau, head test pilot of Dassault Aviation. While the formal handover ceremony takes place this week, the first batch of four Rafale jets will fly to their home base in India by May 2020.

More news: Silver, Ranadive considering NBA-run Indian pro league

On Wednesday, Singh said he had "fruitful deliberations" with his French counterpart Florence Parly. So the Rafales we are getting from France will obviously not be the "real Rafale". India and France had inked a deal in September 2016 for the procurement of 36 jets at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore. He also met the Parly and Defence Advisor to the President of France, Admiral Bernard Rogel. So far three IAF pilots and two technical officers have trained on French Air Force Rafales as per the terms of the contract.

The Defense Minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday received India's first Rafale fighter jet at the handing-over ceremony in France.

"We do not purchase arms and other defence equipments to threaten any country but to increase our capabilities and strengthen our defences", said the 68-year-old leader.

The first squadron of the Rafale aircraft will be stationed at the Ambala Air Force Station in Punjab, considered as a strategic air base given its proximity to the Indo-Pakistan border.

"It is no coincidence that this ceremony falls on Dussehra and also the Indian Air Force's 87th anniversary. I believe Rafale will boost India's air dominance exponentially to ensure peace and security in the region", Mr. Singh said, speaking at the handover ceremony. "My visit to France is aimed at expanding the existing strategic partnership between both the countries", he had said.

The RB001 Rafale, denoting the initials of Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria who played a key role in striking the deal for the jets in his previous role as IAF deputy chief, was unveiled with the Indian tricolour as its backdrop. "They are by far the most potent platform for our air defence", explained Air Marshall Harjit Singh Arora, the Vice Chief of Air Staff who accompanied the minister at the induction ceremony on Tuesday, which also marked the Air Force Day. It marks a big day in the history of our industrial cooperation and we remain fully committed to the Make in India initiative, she said.


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