Five Rafale fighter jets inducted in IAF, to send strong message to adversaries

Ambala, Sep 10 (UNI) Amid heightened border tension with China in Eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said induction of Rafale combat aircraft assumes greater significance in the current situation as it delivered a strong message to India’s adversaries who are eyeing India’s sovereignty.

“The induction of Rafale is a strong message for the world and especially for those who challenge India’s sovereignty. The induction is a very important step in light of the prevailing security conditions that prevail, or I would say, that have been created along India’s borders,” Mr Singh said after formally inducted the first batch of five Rafale jets at Ambala Air Force station here. However, he did not name China directly.

Rafale with its multi role capabilities can perform a variety of tasks including Air Superiority missions and precision strikes against enemies, he said.

Expressing confidence about induction of Rafale into IAF arsenal, Mr Singh said the capabilities and technological edge acquired with the multi-role fighter jet induction will revolutionize the IAF capabilities.

“The Indian Air Force plays an important role in maintaining military deterrence and their actions will be decisive in any future war,’’ he said. Further, he added that the national security has been the top most priority for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Many obstacles came in the way of finding the air power that we are able to witness with our eyes today. But we were able to overcome those obstacles,” he said.

Referring to cross border terrorism, he added, “While the prevailing situation on our boundaries has caught our attention, we should not ignore the threat of cross-border terrorism.”

On Indo-Pacific region and Indian Ocean Region, the minister said, “I am happy to state that in the security concerns of this region; the views of India and France converge and we are cooperating with each other in dealing with common challenges like maritime traffic security and piracy.”

Aiming to bring more foreign direct investment, he invited French companies to invest in India.

“I would like to urge and invite our partner country France to invest in the Indian defence sector. Responding to ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ call by our Prime Minister, the Government has taken several progressive and positive steps in this direction,” he added.

More than a month after the first five Rafale fighter jets landed in India on July 29, they were formally inducted into the IAF’s “Golden Arrows’’ Squadron here, the country’s oldest Air Force base dating back to 1919. The induction ceremony was attended by French Defence minister Florence Parly, CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria among others.

A Rafale fighter jet flew above the airbase as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his French counterpart Florence Parly watched it from afar. Along with the Rafale, other fighter jets including the Russian-origin Sukhoi-30MKIs participated in the flypast. The IAF tweeted in the morning: “New bird in the arsenal of IAF.”


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