New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will receive the first Indian Rafale combat aircraft in France on October 8. The aircraft manufactured by French firm Dassault Aviation will come to India only next year.
“October 8 is auspicious for two reasons. It is both Dussehra and Air Force Day on that day,” government sources said.
The Defence Minister will travel along with Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and other senior officials to receive the aircraft.
As per earlier plans, Balakot operations in-charge and current Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa was to travel to receive the plane from France on September 19-20.
Now, an Air Force team will visit France around the same time and sign documents with the French government after which the Indian pilots will start training on the advanced Indian Rafale planes.
“Once they start training, they may also fly the aircraft once the Defence Minister and his team reach the location near Bordeaux,” sources said.