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IAF receives its first ‘acceptance’ Rafale combat aircraft from France

Deputy Air Force Chief Air Marshal VR Chaudhary also flew in the aircraft for around one hour.

IAF receives its first ‘acceptance’ Rafale combat aircraft from France

NEW DELHI: After a long wait, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has finally received its first ‘acceptance’ Rafale combat aircraft from France.

According to news agency ANI, the IAF got its first ‘acceptance’ Rafale combat aircraft from French firm Dassault Aviation on Thursday.

Deputy Air Force Chief Air Marshal VR Chaudhary also flew in the aircraft for around one hour.

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 major defence deal was at the centre of massive political controversy with the Congress and the other Opposition parties alleging corruption by the Narendra Modi government in the deal. 

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is set to receive the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets in Paris on October 8 - the foundation day of the Indian Air Force, according to government sources.

The aircraft is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons and missiles.

The IAF has already completed preparations, including readying required infrastructure and training of pilots, to welcome the fighter aircraft.

According to reports, the first squadron of the aircraft will be deployed at Ambala Air Force station, considered one of the most strategically located bases of the IAF.