The five Rafale aircraft which arrived on 27 July at Ambala Air Force Station were inducted to the Indian Air Force’s 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ on 10 September.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh presented an induction scroll to Group Captain Harkeerat Singh, the Commanding Officer of the 17 Squadron of the ‘Golden Arrows’ of the Indian Air Force thus formally completing the induction of the 5 Rafale fighter jets into the squadron.
Speaking during the induction ceremony, air chief marshal RKS Bhadauria, said, ‘The Rafale aircrafts along with the skill of the Rafale aircrafts will form a lethal combination and will challenge our adversaries.”
The air chief marshal lauded the Centre for strengthening the Indian Air Force fleet with the Rafale jets.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said, “The induction of Rafale jets into the IAF has also strengthened the Indo-French relations. We are facing new geostrategic challenges and our two democracies are working together to resolve these challenges.”
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said that the induction of the jets will ensure that India is able to maintain peace in the region and ensure stability. He said that the Indian Air Force’s deliberate and swift action near the LAC displays their commitment towards national security.
French minister of armed forces said, “India will have an edge over its rivals in terms of security with the induction of these jets. The induction will also give a boost to the Make in India initiative.”
She said that the induction of the aircraft is symbolic of the friendship between India and France. She said that France also supports India’s candidacy at the United Nations Security Council.
Parly further added, “These jets are combat-proven. These jets have helped France undertake counter-terrorism measures.”
The Rafale aircraft were given a water cannon salute after the Sarva Dharma Puja which was attended by the dignitaries along with both the defence ministers and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, air chief marshal RKS Bhadauria.