French Defense Minister Florence Parly will travel to India on Thursday with her 80-member international delegation to attend the induction ceremony for French Rafale fighter jets at the Indian Air Force base in Ambala on this occasion. These two steps are seen as a huge message to China and Pakistan.
Rafale planes will be inducted into the IAF base in Ambala
French Defense Minister Florence Parly will travel to India on September 10 (i.e. Thursday) to participate in the induction ceremony of the Rafale fighter jet at the army airbase Indian Air Force in Ambala.
She will be accompanied by senior defense officials and a delegation from the defense industry on a special aircraft and will have a full day of engagements. This is the first visit of the French minister abroad after the implementation of COVID measures in France.
Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to meet his French counterpart
During the visit, in addition to having a bilateral relationship with Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, she will also meet with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. India received the first batch of five Rafale fighter jets in July.
Describing India as “France’s strategic partner in the region”, Defense Minister Parly expressed “the deep solidarity of her country”
Great message to Pakistan and China
It is also the first high-level visit by a foreign dignitary to India amid Chinese aggression. After the Galwan incident, French Defense Minister Florence Parly wrote to Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to express her condolences for the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers during the violent confrontation between India and China in June .
The high-profile visit of the French Defense Minister to India and the induction ceremony of Rafale fighter jets into the IAF are both seen as formidable messages to India’s strategic enemies – China and Pakistan. Thanks to this, the two countries are clearly receiving a clear message that the world will no longer tolerate their expansionist terrorist policy and that France will also stand alongside India in this fight.
India to receive a total of 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets from France
India will receive a total of 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets from France. While five of them have already arrived in India, five more will arrive in November. The remaining 26 Rafale planes are expected to be available for India by the end of 2021. Of these, 18 Dassault Rafale planes will be deployed to Ambala and another squadron to Hashimara Air Base in West Bengal.
Ambala Air Base in a strategic location
Ambala Air Base is one of India’s most important strategic military sites. Pakistan is approximately 300 km away and China approximately 450 km from the base. The Rafale fighter jets, which have a flight capacity of up to 3,700 km at a time, can easily take on these two enemies of India if they are deployed to do so.