Rajnath to meet French President, Defence Minister at two-day Paris visit

Rajnath to meet French President, Defence Minister at two-day Paris visit

Agency News

New Delhi, May 4: With the objective to take bilateral defence ties to a new height, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will engage with French President Emmanuel Macron and Defence Minister Florence Parly during his two-day visit to France.

Mr Singh along with Indian Air Force (IAF) Vice Chief Air Marshal HS Arora and other officials, will be in France for receiving the first of 36 Rafale aircraft for the IAF.

“As per the itinerary, the minister will reach Merignac air base near Bordeaux in France on October 8 to receive the Rafale fighter aircraft. He will fly a sortie in Rafale jet at around 2pm (French local time) and in the evening he will meet the French Defence Minister,” a senior defence official said.

On the next day, Mr Singh will call on French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and discuss scores of issues pertaining to defence and strategy. He is also scheduled to meet the industrialists and will highlight the measures taken by Indian government to attract foreign investors.

During an annual press conference, IAF Chief Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria said India will receive another three Rafale jet during the visit of the Defence Minister . The jets would fly in the Indian sky at the end of May 2020.

The first squadron of the Rafale combat aircraft will be deployed at Ambala air base in Haryana while the second would be at Hashimara base in West Bengal.

In September 2016, India had signed an inter-governmental-agreement with the French government and Dassault Aviation to acquire 36 Rafale fighter aircraft for Rs 58,000 crore to address the fall of combat squadrons and meet urgent requirements on the eastern and western fronts. (UNI)