French defence minister Florence Parly to visit India on 10 Sep to attend Rafale induction ceremony – India News , Firstpost

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The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on 29 July, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France

French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly speaks at a press conference with Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, Hôtel de Brienne, Paris, Sept. 7, 2019. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

French defence minister Florence Parly will visit India to attend the Rafale fighter jet’s induction ceremony on 10 September, reports said.

During the visit, she will hold a meeting with her Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh, and will also meet National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, DNA reported. She will be accompanied by defence officials and French defence industry representatives.

The induction ceremony of the Rafale jets will be held on 10 September in Ambala air force station in presence of Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the entire top military brass of the country, PTI quoted sources as saying.

The Indian and French sides are in touch with each other on the proposed visit by Parly, the sources added.

In a telephonic conversation with Singh on 2 June, Parly had conveyed her readiness to visit India to further explore ways to enhance bilateral defence ties.

The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on 29 July, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore. The jets are yet to be formally inducted into the IAF.

Ten Rafale jets have been delivered to India so far, of which five stayed back in France for imparting training to Indian Air Force pilots. The delivery of all 36 aircraft is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.

A second batch of four to five Rafale jets are likely to arrive in India by November.

The Rafale jets, known for air-superiority and precision strikes, are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia.

With inputs from PTI

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