Defence Minister Rajnath Singh To Visit France For First Rafale’s Delivery: Report

India had signed an agreement with France in September 2016 for 36 Rafale fighter jets

New Delhi: 

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is set to receive the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets in Paris on October 8 — the foundation day of the Indian Air Force, government sources said on Tuesday.

They said Mr Singh, accompanied by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and several other senior bureaucrats, will travel to Paris on October 7 on a three-day visit, primarily to receive the Rafale jet.

Top military brass of france as well as senior officials of Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, will also be present at the handing over ceremony.

During the visit, Mr Singh is scheduled to hold extensive talks with top defence brass of the French government on ways to deepen defence and security cooperation between the two countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited france last month during which both sides resolved to further enhance the already close defence ties between the two countries.

Sources said a high-level team of the Indian Air Force is already in Paris to coordinate with the French officials on the handing over ceremony.

India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore. 

The aircraft is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons and missiles.

The IAF has already completed preparations, including readying required infrastructure and training of pilots, to welcome the fighter…

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