After performing puja, he will take a sortie in the aircraft, officials said. "We will get 18 Rafale jets by February 2021 and rest 18 will get all 36 jets by April-May 2022", he said. "This is a part of our self-defence and not a sign of aggression against anyone".
"This aircraft marks a massive enhancement in the Indian Air Force combat capability but that enhancement is not for attack purposes but as a deterrent for self defense", Singh further said.
After inspecting a Rafale jet on the assembly line at the production unit earlier in the day, he addressed members of the top military brass of France as well as senior officials of Dassault Aviation present at the ceremony. The festival of Dussehra symbolises the victory of good over evil as per Hindu traditions. "They are by far the most potent platform for our air defence", explained Air Marshall Harjit Singh Arora, the Vice Chief of Air Staff who accompanied the minister at the induction ceremony on Tuesday, which also marked the Air Force Day.
A lot of allegations had been made of corruption in the Rafale deal between India and France, and questions were raised as to why an offsets contract was given to Anil Ambani, who had no experience in manufacturing aircraft.
Singh described the ride as very comfortable and smooth flight and said it was an unprecedented moment. "Rafale will add to the strength of IAF". Our focus is to enhance the capability of IAF.
"But we need to make sure that the Indian tax and customs system is not terorrising us", he said. "Rafale is a French word, which in means "gust of wind".
After the handing over, Mr. Singh performed shastra puja on the aircraft on the occasion of Vijayadashami and also flew a sortie on it.
The fighter jet was flown by the chief test pilot of Dassault Aviation Phillipe Duchateau. During the talks, the two leaders comprehensively discussed key aspects of bilateral defense partnership and resolved to continue strengthening ties between the two countries.
"Nearly 60 French companies are already established in India. and in the future more companies will come", said Parly, the French defence minister. Admiral Bernard Rogel, the defence advisor to the French president, was also present at the meeting.
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The ceremony coincided with the foundation ceremony of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
"Greetings to all IAF personnel and their families on the 87th IAF Day", Singh said in a tweet.
The date was chosen for formally receiving the aircraft because today is Dussehra and also the Air Force Day in India.
The multibillion deal to acquire 36 Rafale jets was signed between India and France in September 2016.
The delivery of the first Rafale jet fighter by France to India is being celebrated with great fanfare and hoopla, as if India has secured a huge triumph.
The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base.
"We have a long association with India and all Indian airlines are our customers", Andries said.
Rafale, a 4.5 generation multi-role combat aircraft, will greatly increase India's geo-political stature in South Asia because no other country, including Pakistan, has as advanced an aircraft in its inventory.
This range of Rafale fighter jets have been specially created to meet the needs of the IAF, which its manufacturer described as a new step in the company's long-standing relationship with India. The first aircraft with tail number RB-01 was received by a team of Indian Air Force officers led by Air Marshal VR Chaudhary in France last month.