"We also appreciated the efforts made by the armed forces of India and France in fighting the
pandemic. France has affirmed its commitment to ensuring timely delivery of
The call to strengthen bilateral cooperation holds significance as India switches to focus on boosting indigenous defence production blacklisting a range of products from several countries in a bid to push for Atmanirbhar Bharat.
French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain had in May said that there will be no delay in delivery of the 36 Rafale
jets to India as the timeline finalised for the supply of the fighter jets will be strictly respected. India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore.
The first squadron of the aircraft will be stationed at Ambala air force station.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
received the first Rafale jet at an airbase in France on October 8.
France is reeling under swelling cases of coronavirus
and has emerged as one of the worst-hit in Europe. There were apprehensions that the delivery of Rafale jets could be delayed due to the pandemic.
The aircraft is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons. European missile maker MBDA's Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets. The IAF
has already completed preparations, including readying required infrastructure and training of pilots, to welcome the fighter aircraft.
Bordeaux: Indian defense Minister Rajnath Singh
shakes hands with French Defense Minister Florence Parly at the Dassault Aviation plant in Merignac, near Bordeaux, southwestern France.
The first squadron of the aircraft will be stationed at Ambala air force station, considered one of the most strategically located bases of the IAF.
The Indo-Pak border is around 220 km from there.
The second squadron of Rafale will be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal.
spent around Rs 400 crore to develop required infrastructure like shelters, hangars and maintenance facilities at the two bases. Out of 36 Rafale jets, 30 will be fighter jets and six will be trainers. The trainer jets will be twin-seater with almost all the features of the fighter jets.