Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will do ‘Shastra Pooja’ (worship of weapons) of first Raon the occasion of Dussehra . Singh will do ‘Shastra Pooja‘ after receiving the first Rafale fighter jet at Merignac suburb of Bordeaux on Tuesday. After performing puja, he will take a sortie in the plane, the officials said.
Singh will also meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to discuss issues on bilateral defence and security ties.The ceremony to hand over the Rafale jet will take place at a facility of Dassault Aviation, the makers of the plane, in Merignac of Bordeaux.
“The defence minister will take part in the Rafale handing over ceremony at Merignac along with French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly. He will also do the Shastra puja on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami and fly a sortie in the Rafale fighter aircraft,” Defence Ministry Spokesperson Bharat Bhusan Babu said.
Even though the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be receiving the first Rafale fighter jet in France, the plane will come to India only in next year.“The first four of 36 Rafale jets will come to India by May next year and the plane will definitely enhance the IAF’s combat prowess,” Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria said .
In his first press conference after taking charge of the top post on September 30, Bhadauria said the acquisition of the Rafale plane and the S-400 missile systems will give major boost to IAF’s operational ability.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore. The plane is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons and missiles.