The Indian Air Force will formally induct the Rafale aircraft on 10 September at Air Force Station, Ambala. The aircraft will be part of 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”. The first five Indian Air Force Rafale aircraft arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala from France on 27 July 2020.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces of France will be the Chief Guests for the event.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO along with other senior officers of Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces will be present to mark a very important milestone in the history of the IAF.

The French delegation will be represented by Emmanuel Lenain Ambassador of France to India, Air General Eric Autellet, Vice Chief of the Air Staff of the French Air Force and other senior officials. A large delegation of senior functionaries of French Defence Industries which includes Eric Trappier Chairman and Chief Executive of Dassault Aviation and Eric Beranger, CEO, MBDA will be present during the ceremony.

Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces of France, will be given a ceremonial Guard of Honour on arrival at Delhi.

At Ambala, the programme will include the ceremonial unveiling of the Rafale aircraft, a traditional ‘Sarva Dharma Puja’, Air Display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well as by ‘Sarang Aerobatic Team’.

Afterwards, a traditional water cannon salute will be given to the Rafale aircraft. The programme will culminate with the ceremonial induction of Rafale aircraft to the 17 Squadron. After the ceremonial events, the Indian and French delegation will have a bilateral meeting.