- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh wishes them happy landings
New Delhi. 29 July 2020. As the first batch of five Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Rafale jets landed in Ambala air base today, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in a series of tweets welcomed these by saying, “the Birds have entered the Indian airspace… Happy Landing in Ambala!”
He congratulated Indian Air Force (IAF) on professionally executed ferry and said, “I am sure that 17 Squadron, the Golden Arrows, will continue to live upto their motto of ‘UdayamAjasram’. I am extremely happy that IAF’s combat capability has got a timely boost.”
“The touch down of Rafale combat aircraft in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History. These multirole aircraft will revolutionise the capabilities of the IAF,” he added in another tweet.
Highlighting the capabilities of the aircraft, Rajnath Singh remarked that, “This aircraft has very good flying performance and its weapons, radar and other sensors and electronic warfare capabilities are amongst the best in the world. Its arrival in India will make the IAF much stronger to deter any threat that may be posed on our country.”
He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his right decision. “The Rafale jets were purchased only because PM Narendra Modi took the right decision to get these aircraft through an Inter-Governmental Agreement with France, after the long pending procurement case for them could not progress.”
He thanked the French Government, Dassault Aviation and other French companies for ensuring the timely delivery of the aircraft and its weapons, despite the severe restrictions posed by COVID pandemic.
Rajnath Singh added that, “The Rafale jets were purchased when they fully met the operational requirements of the IAF. The baseless allegations against this procurement have already been answered and settled.” He added, “If it is anyone who should be worried about or critical about this new capability of the Indian Air Force, it should be those who want to threaten our territorial integrity.”
The Rafale Project Monitoring Team (PMT) from India has been positioned in France since August 2017 to ensure smooth implementation of the project. The delivery of Rafale aircraft is on schedule and will add to the strength of Indian Air force. The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 36 Rafale aircraft procurement was signed between the Government of India and Government of France on 23 September, 2016.