Dassault Aviation releases first photos of airborne Rafale Jet RB-002
A day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh formally took delivery of the first of the 36 Rafale multi-role fighter jets, Dassault Aviation, the French company that manufactures the jets, has released the first airborne photographs of the second aircraft with the tail number RB-002.
The first batch of four Rafale jets will fly to their home base in India by May 2020. All 36 jets are expected to arrive in India by September 2022.
On Tuesday, Singh had attended the handover ceremony along with his French counterpart Florence Parly at aircraft maker Dassault Aviation facility in Merignac, southwestern France.
The RB001 Rafale, denoting the initials of Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria who played a key role in striking the ₹59,000-crore deal for the jets in his previous role as IAF deputy chief, was unveiled with the Indian tricolour as its backdrop.
Parly described the Rafale as a symbol of the best France has to offer India to protect its sovereignty and also of the French commitment to the 'Make in India' initiative.