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First batch of 5 Rafale fighter jets to be formally inducted into IAF today

The first batch of five Rafale fighter jets will be formally inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Ambala air base on Thursday. The induction is significant as it comes at a time India is engaged in an escalating border row with China in eastern Ladakh. A galaxy of dignitaries including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, his French counterpart Florence Parly, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar will attend the ceremony. The French delegation at the ceremony will include French envoy Emmanuel Lenain, Air Gen Eric Autellet, Vice Chief of French Air Force, Chairman and Chief Executive of Dassault Aviation Eric Trappier and CEO of missile maker MBDA Eric Beranger. The Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 year after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia.

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