Former Indian captain and honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Territorial Army MS Dhoni on Thursday commemorated the induction of five Rafale Jets in the Indian Air Force.
Dhoni took to Twitter to mark the induction of Rafale fighter planes.
“With the Final Induction Ceremony the world’s best combat proven 4.5Gen fighter plane gets the world’s best fighter pilots. In the hands of our pilots and the mix of different aircrafts with the IAF the potent bird’s lethality will only increase,” Dhoni wrote.
He further wrote, “Wishing The Glorious 17 Squadron(Golden Arrows) all the very best and for all of us hope the Rafale beats the service record of the Mirage 2000 but Su30MKI remains my fav and the boys get new target to dogfight with and wait for BVR engagement till their upgrade to Super Sukhoi.”
The five Rafale jets were formally inducted into the Indian Air Force in a ceremony at the Ambala air base.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, his French counterpart Florence Parly, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria were among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony.
A traditional ‘sarva dharma puja’, a ceremonial ‘water cannon salute’ to the Rafale jets and an aerial display featuring various breathtaking manoeuvres by the aircraft marked their induction into the 17 Squadron of the IAF.
The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
Ten Rafale jets have been delivered to India so far and five of them stayed back in France for imparting training to IAF pilots.
The delivery of all 36 aircraft is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.