Wednesday, September 11, 2019

First Rafale could be handed over to India in France on 8 October — the Air Force Day

New Delhi: The first Rafale fighter jet is likely to be handed over to India at a ceremony in France on 8 October, ThePrint has learnt.
The ceremony was to be held on 19 September but is learnt to have been postponed due to scheduling issues on the Indian side.
Incidentally, 8 October is celebrated as Air Force Day in India, and the day is coinciding with Dussehra this year.
Defence sources told ThePrint that while nothing has been communicated to France in writing about the change in plans, they have been told verbally that the event might get delayed.
“The dates for the defence minister are being worked out. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also travelling out around the same time, and hence, there is a scheduling issue. In all likelihood, the ceremony might happen in the first week of October,” a source said.
Sources said the Rafale handover ceremony would be held on 8 October. However, if the delivery takes place on that day, it won’t be possible for both the defence minister and the new IAF chief to be present at the ceremony, since Air Force Day celebrations will also be held in India on that day. Current Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa retires on 30 September.
10/09/19 Snehesh Alex Philip/Print
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