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Five Rafale Aircrafts inducted into ‘Golden Arrows’ Squadron of Indian Air Force

Rafale aircraft formally inducted into Indian Air ForceOn September 10, 2020 The Five Rafale Aircrafts which arrived in India on July 29, 2020 were formally inducted into the Indian Air Force at a function held at Air Force Station, Ambala (Haryana). They were inducted into the Indian Air Force’s 17 SquadronGolden Arrows’.

Official Present in the Ceremony:

It was inducted into Indian Air Force (IAF) in the presence of Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, Minister of the French Armed Forces, Florence Parly, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary Department of Defence Research & Development and Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy.

French Delegation:

i.The French delegation included Mr Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, Air General Eric Autellet, Vice Chief of the Air Staff of the French Air Force and other senior officials.

ii.A large delegation of senior functionaries of French Defence Industries which included Mr. Eric Trappier Chairman and Chief Executive of Dassault Aviation and Mr. Eric Beranger, CEO, MBDA were present during the ceremony.

Highlights from the Induction ceremony:

i.The Rafale aircraft was given a traditional water cannon salute after the Sarva Dharma Puja.

ii.An air display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft was conducted by ‘Sarang Aerobatic Team’.

iii.This is Florence Parly’s third visit to India after assuming office in 2017. France assured that it will support Indian candidature for permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council(UNSC).

iv.He also highlighted the India-France Partnership, under which Scorpene submarines are being built at the Mazagaon Docks(Mumbai). On the basis of this partnership, the first submarine, INS Kalvari was commissioned in 2017.

Policy Reforms:

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh highlighted policy reforms such as manufacturing of defence equipment under the Strategic-Partnership model, enhancing FDI to 74% by automatic route & establishment of two defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and reforms in Offsets.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh holds & French defence minister Florence Parly hold conversation

i.The delegation level talks led by Rajnath Singh & Florence Parly took place at Palam Air Force Station.

ii.Rajnath Singh apprised Parly of the four-month-long border row with China in Eastern Ladakh.

iii.The two sides also reviewed areas of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on contemporary regional and global security issues of mutual interest.

iv.The two ministers vowed to step up cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) which is witnessing increasing Chinese Military Posturing.

NSA Ajit Doval holds talks with French Defence Minister Florence Parly

i.National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval held talks with French Defence Minister Florence Parly to further boost the bilateral defence & security cooperation between India & France.

ii.The talks were focussed on ways to enhance the overall strategic ties between the two countries.

India, France decide to expand cooperation in Indian Ocean Region 

India and France are increasingly engaged in new areas of cooperation such as in the Indian Ocean region(IOR), climate change and sustainable growth and development.

i.The Indian Navy expanded its deployment in the Indian Ocean Region, stationing warships and submarines following the border row in eastern Ladakh.

ii.The maritime space around the Malacca Strait is very critical for China’s supply chain through sea routes.

Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA):

i.In September 2016, €7.87 bn (Rs 59,000 crore) Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA), was signed between India and France for 36 Rafale Fighter Jets.

ii.On July 29, 2020, the first five of 36 Rafale fighter jets arrived from France and landed in Ambala, Haryana.

iii.The five aircraft include two twin seater trainer aircraft and three single seat fighter aircraft. These fighter jets are manufactured with 13 India Specific Enhancements (ISE), by Dassault Aviation, a french company.

iv.Notably, Rafale is the first imported fighter to be inducted into Service since the Sukhoi-30s from Russia in the late 90s.

v.The five jets were flown by pilots of the 17 Golden Arrows led by Commanding Officer Group Captain Harkirat Singh along with Wing Commander Manish Singh, Wing Commander Abhishek Tripathi, Wing Commander Sidhu, Wing Commander Arun & Rohit Kataria.

Recent Related News:

i.On July 29, 2020, the first five of 36 Rafale fighter jets, from France were landed in Ambala in Haryana after covering a distance of nearly 8500 km to join the Indian Air Force (IAF).

ii.On August 3, 2020, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) publicized a draft ‘Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020 for public feedback by August 17, 2020 after which the policy would be promulgated by the MoD.

About France:

President – Emmanuel Macron
Capital – Paris
Currency – Euro