Rafale inducted into IAF

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Five French-made multirole Rafale jets were inducted into the Indian Air Force on Thursday at a glittering ceremony here, in a major boost to the country’s air power at a time it is engaged in an escalating border dispute with China.

Using the occasion to send a signal to China over the border row in eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the induction was crucial considering the atmosphere being created along the frontier and called it is a “big and stern” message to those eyeing India’s sovereignty.

Singh said Rafale is considered one of the best combat aircraft globally and the deal to procure the jets was a “game changer” for India’s national security. A traditional ‘sarva dharma puja’, a ceremonial water cannon salute to the Rafale fighter jets and an aerial drill featuring breathtaking manoeuvres by the aircraft marked their induction into the IAF’s ‘Golden Arrows’ squadron at the Ambala Air Force station.