The first batch of Rafale fighter jets just arrived Indian airspace today. This includes five of the modern tactical fighter jets which India bought from France. They received a warm welcome from the Indian Navy warship, INS Kolkata, deployed in Western Arabian Sea, as soon as they enter Indian territory.
Here is a transcript of the brief exchange.
INS Kolkata: Arrow leader, welcome to the Indian Ocean.
Rafale leader: Many thanks. Most reassuring to have an Indian warship guarding the seas.
INS Kolkata: May you touch the sky with glory. Happy landing.
Rafale leader: Wish you fair winds. Happy hunting. Over & out.
Defence Minsitry also greeted the Rafale team on tweeter. They posted,
The five Rafale fighter jets, which flew from Merignac airbase in southern France. They are on their way towards IAF's Ambala airbase. They were escorted by another two Sukhoi jets.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh just posted the landing video of one of the Rafale jet on twitter.
The Touchdown of Rafale at Ambala. pic.twitter.com/e3OFQa1bZY— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 29, 2020
During an official visit to France in April 2015, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi announced that India would acquire 36 fully built Rafales citing "critical operational necessity". In July 2015, defence minister Manohar Parrikar informed the Rajya Sabha that the negotiations for 36 aircraft had begun. In May 2016, the two sides arrived at a figure of €7.87 billion (₹58,891 crore) for the agreement.