The first batch of five Rafale multirole fighter jets will be formally inducted into the Indian Air Force in Ambala air base in Haryana. The multirole French-made fighter jets will become a part of the IAF's 17 Squadron "Golden Arrows".
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, his French counterpart Florence Parly, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar will attend the ceremony.
The official Twitter handle of IAF stated, "IAF will formally induct the Rafale aircraft in the 17 Squadron 'Golden Arrows' today at Air Force Station, Ambala. New bird in the arsenal of IAF."
The first five Rafale aircraft had arrived in Ambala from France on July 27, 2020. The jets flew from the Merignac airbase in the port city of Bordeaux and landed for a stopover at Al Dhafra airbase in the United Arab Emirates after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km. A day later, they flew again and landed at the Ambala airbase.
The Rafale induction ceremony
The induction programme will include the ceremonial unveiling of the Rafale aircraft, a traditional 'sarva dharma puja', air display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well as Sarang aerobatic team. Afterwards, a traditional water cannon salute will be given to the Rafale aircraft.
The programme will culminate with the ceremonial induction of Rafale aircraft to the 17 Squadron.
The French delegation will be represented by Emmanuel Lenain, the Ambassador of France to India, Air General Eric Autellet, Vice Chief of Air Staff of the French Air Force, and other senior officials.