Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met French President Emmanuel Macron, hours before he will receive first of the 36 Rafale jets. Rajnath Singh will receive the first of the 36 Rafale aircraft in the French port city of Bordeaux and perform ‘Shastra Puja’ on the occasion of Dussehra and take a sortie in the fighter jet.
France: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and President of France, Emmanuel Macron held a meeting in Paris today. pic.twitter.com/Myd5smzTRI— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2019
“Raksha Mantri will participate in the Rafale fighter aircraft handing over ceremony at Merignac along with French minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly,” a ministry of defence spokesperson said.
France: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on-board a French military aircraft in Paris. He is travelling in the aircraft from Paris to Mérignac to receive the first Rafale combat aircraft. pic.twitter.com/LuunzRmuNH— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2019
Arrangements have been made at the air base for a traditional ‘Shastra Puja’, or weapons’ worship which forms part of Dussehra celebrations.
After performing puja, Singh will take a sortie in a two-seater trainer version of the aircraft. All 36 jets are expected to arrive in India by September 2022, for which the IAF has been reportedly undertaking preparations, including readying required infrastructure and training of pilots.
(With PTI inputs)