Rajnath Singh flies in Rafale fighter as France hands over first jet

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that the French-made Rafale combat jet will boost India’s air dominance exponentially, as he was formally handed the delivery of the first of 36 such aircraft acquired by the Indian government at a ceremony here.

Singh attended the handover ceremony along with his French counterpart Florence Parly at aircraft maker Dassault Aviation facility in Merignac, southwestern France.

The minister performed a Shastra Puja on the new aircraft as he emblazoned it with an ‘Om’ tilak and laid flowers and a coconut, just before he was to take off in it for a sortie in the newly-acquired two-seater jet.

Singh, who changed into combat flight gear for the sortie after Puja, said the aircraft will enhance the Indian Air Force combat capability massively – intended only for self-defence.

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