Almost a month after the first five Rafale fighter jets nicknamed as ‘Golden Arrows’ touched down at Haryana’s Ambala, they will be formally inducted as part of the 17 Squadron on Thursday.
In an official traditional ceremony called ‘Sarva Dharma Puja’ going to be held at Ambala Air Force Station, the fighter jets along with Tejas aircraft will be formally inducted into India Air Force(IAF).
It will be followed by the traditional water cannon salute for the fighter jets. The proceedings will culminate with the ceremonial induction of Rafale to Golden Arrows. According to an official statement from IAF, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his French counterpart Florence Parly will be part of the ceremony.
Assault Aviation chairman Eric Trappier will also be present. Rafales are manufactured by Dassault Aviation. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, defence secretary Ajay Kumar and Defence Research and Development Organisation chief G Satheesh Reddy will also witness the royal debut.
India ordered 36 Rafale jets from France in a deal worth Rs 59,000 crore in September 2016 while the delivery of the first batch officially started in October last year. The planes stayed in France for the training of the pilots and mechanics. The entire contingent is to be delivered by 2022.