Srinagar, July 29: As the first batch of five Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Rafale fighter jets landed at Ambala air base on Wednesday, Defence minister Rajnath Singh in a series of tweets welcomed Rafale by saying, “The Birds have entered the Indian airspace… Happy Landing in Ambala!”
Rajnath Singh 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 ‘Udayam Ajasram’. 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.”
Defence Minister thanked Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his right decision. “The Rafale jets were purchased only because PM Shri 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, “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.”
Rajnath Singh shared pictures and videos of the aircraft entering Indian air space.
Earlier, Captain of the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kolkata welcomed Rafale Arrow Leader in the Indian Ocean by saying, “May you touch the sky with glory.” The five Rafale aircraft were escorted by two SU30 MKIs as they entered the Indian airspace.