French Air Force showcases Rafale combat jets
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French Air Force showcases Rafale combat jets

New Delhi, Sep 4: Amid the controversy generated by the deal for procurement of 36 Rafale aircraft between India and France, the French government showcased the combat jets at an exhibition in Gwalior on Tuesday.

"Amazed by the quality of the exchanges between our two Air Forces as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our strategic partnership this year Mission Pegase," French ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler tweeted.‏

"In Gwalior, delighted to meet the pilots and officers in charge of the Mission PEGASE, which has projected a detachment of 3 Rafale combat jets, one Airbus A-400M military transport aircraft, one C-135 refuelling aircraft, and one Airbus A310 cargo aircraft," he wrote in another missive in the micro blogging site.

The French Air Force has organised Mission PEGASE as part of celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the India-France strategic partnership. Sources said the operational mission seeks to lay emphasis on France's presence in the region.

"The Mission PEGASE in India is yet another illustration of the depth of the Indo-French strategic partnership, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, and the great trust that prevails in the relations between our respective armed forces," the French embassy said here. The mission undertook a major exercise in Australia, where French aircraft have carried out 'joint drills with those of the Indian Air Force'.

After Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, this detachment, which involves over a hundred aviators, made a three-day stopover in India, at the Air Force Stations of Gwalior and Agra. The mission ends on Tuesday. (UNI)