As three Indian Air Force Rafale fighter jets, as part of the military contingent, are set to take part in the Bastille Day parade over the Champs Elysees in Paris. Where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest. The first look of Rafale was revealed on Thursday in the visuals of the Evreux-Fauville Air Base in France. Group Captain Abhishek Tripathi, Commanding Officer, 101 Squadron (Rafale) and leader of the formation that participated in the Bastille Day parade said, “It is a matter of pride for us that we have brought Rafale to France once again. PM at Bastille Day Parade will be the guests of honour and we will be a part of the early forms of parade.”
Tripathi said: “It (Rafales) has the best avionics that all fighter aircraft in the world have, even better than them… In short, it is a very compact, extraordinary, powerful, extremely agile and very Intelligent machine. , Group Captain Anindo Sur said, “It is a great honour for us to fly so far, close to 4500 miles. For the first time, an aircraft has taken such a long flight from India. The group caption said that it is a wonderful feeling for India. “We have done two practice sorties, tomorrow is D-day for us… We have four aircraft, all four will take off…” he said. The Indian Rafale jets that will take part in the Bastille Day parade over the Champs Elysees in Paris arrived in France a few days ago. The French traditional military parade is held in Paris every year on 14 July during Bastille Day. PM Modi will be the guest of honour on the National Day of France at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.
PM Modi’s visit will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the “strategic partnership” between France and India. Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy said it is a moment of immense pride for India as “we are proud to have our Prime Minister in our country as well as on foreign soil”. Will represent our army in front of the President, who will watch the parade…I will take over the command of the Air Force.” The contingent of the force comprises 77 personnel, of whom 68 will march…” he said.
Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to France Javed Ashraf on Wednesday said that Indian Rafale jets taking part in the Bastille Day parade over the Champs Elysees in Paris will send a message across the world that India-France ties are very strong and close. In an interaction with ANI, Ashraf said that the paradet and marching by air warriors of the IAF on Bastille Day is symbolic of a long association between the two countries, especially in the field of air power. The Indian envoy also described Rafale being part of the Bastille Day parade as “very important”. “Any ship could have come from India. We have many ships. The important thing is that both our troops have a lot of inter-operability, a lot of trust and thus, this Bastille Day parade sends a message to the whole world that the partnership between India and France is very close,” he said.
Ashraf also underlined that the India-France partnership is about the power of values. “The military relationship we have is to defend our values, without claiming or pressuring anyone else. We call this Prime Minister’s Value Sharing,” he said. On Monday, Emmanuel Lenain, the French ambassador to India, tweeted: “A warm welcome to France for the Indian Rafale jets, which will take to the skies of Paris on Friday for Bastille!” Also, in a major development, India’s Defense Ministry has given preliminary approval to plans to buy 26 Rafale fighter jets and three Scorpene class conventional submarines from France. Government sources told ANI that the proposals were cleared by the Defense Acquisition Board of the Ministry of Defense and will now be discussed by the Defense Acquisition Council, possibly on July 13. Sources said the deals are likely to be announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France this week after the requirement is approved by the DAC.