New Delhi:Rajnath Singh will travel to France on October 8 to receive the first Indian Rafale combat aircraft manufactured by French firm Dassault Aviation that will come to India only next year.
“October 8 is auspicious for two reasons. It is both Dussehra and Air Force day on that day,” government sources said. The Defence Minister will travel along with Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and other senior officials to receive the aircraft from France on October 8, they said.
As per earlier plans, Balakot operations in-charge and current Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa was to travel to receive the plane on September 19-20 from France.
Now, an Air Force team will visit France around the same time and sign documents with the French after which the Indian pilots will start training on the advanced Indian Rafale planes.
“Once they start training, they may also fly the aircraft once the Defence Minister and his team reach the location near Bordeaux,” the sources said.