New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will take the delivery of the first sophisticated and state of the art Rafale fighter jet in France on Tuesday after performing 'Shastra Puja', a ritual involving the worship of weapons, as per Indian traditions.
Shastra Puja has been a part of Indian tradition for thousands of years. Rajput warrior-king Maharana Pratap used to perform Shastra Puja before going into battle against his enemies. On Vijayadashmi, keeping to the tradition, people still perform Shastra Puja.
Rajnath will undertake a sortie on a Rafale fighter jet after receiving the first of 36 fighter jets in France to mark the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashmi. According to the plan, a French pilot will fly in the front cockpit of the Rafale while Singh will sit in the rear seat.
The aircraft, which is capable of carrying an array of potent weapons and missiles, will be a force to reckon with in the Indian Air Force to which Pakistan has no answer, according to defence experts.
Air Marshal Muthumanikam Matheswaran, while talking to IANS said, "Pakistan has multi role fighter jet F-16, which is equivalent to India`s Mirage 2000. Pakistan will have no answer to this sophisticated Rafale."
After France, Egypt and Qatar, India will be the fourth country which can boast of the ultra modern fighter jet.
Singh has embarked on three-day visit to France from Monday during which he will hold the Annual Defence dialogue with French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly. He will also meet President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday before participating in the Rafale fighter aircraft handing over ceremony at Merignac along with Parly.