The bird is inducted officially. Yes, the five Rafale aircraft which arrived on July 27 at Ambala Air Force Station were “officially” inducted into the Indian Air Force’s 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ today (10th September 2020).
The Defence minister of India Mr. Rajnath Singh, during the induction ceremony presented an induction scroll to Group Captain Harkeerat Singh. Group Captain Singh will be the Commanding Officer of the 17 Squadron of the ‘Golden Arrows’ of the Indian Air Force. The grant of scroll formally indicate the induction of the 5 Rafale fighter jets into the squadron.
During the ceremony, while speaking from the podium, the Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria, said, “The Rafale aircrafts along with the skills of the 17 Squadron of the ‘Golden Arrows’ will form a lethal combination and will challenge our adversaries.”
The delighted air chief marshal also thanked the government of India for the continuous efforts towards the strengthening of the Indian Air Force fleet along with the Rafale jets.
The Defence Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh in the presence of French counterpart said, “The induction of Rafale jets into the IAF has also strengthened the Indo-French relations. We are facing new geostrategic challenges and our two democracies are working together to resolve these challenges.”
The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also said that the induction of these jets equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and technology will ensure that India is able to maintain peace in the region and ensure stability. He added, the Indian Air Force’s deliberate and swift action near the LAC displays the professionalism and their commitment towards national security.
The French minister of armed forces “Florence Parly” also attended the ceremony. During the ceremony she said, “India will have an edge over its rivals in terms of security with the induction of these jets. The induction will also give a boost to the Make in India initiative.”
She also said that the induction of the aircraft is symbolic of the friendship between India and France. She also said that France also supports India’s candidacy at the United Nations Security Council.
Parly further added, “These jets are combat-proven. These jets have helped France undertake counter-terrorism measures.”
The Rafale aircraft was given a water cannon salute after the Sarva Dharma Puja which was attended by the dignitaries along with both the defence ministers and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, air chief marshal RKS Bhadauria,