Mumbai: Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, France has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the timely delivery of Rafale aircraft, after Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held a telephone conversation with the French Armed Forces, Florence Parly on Tuesday.
“Had a telephonic conversation with French Minister of Armed Forces, Ms. Florence Parly today. We discussed matters of mutual concern including COVID-19 situation, regional security and agreed to strengthen the Bilateral Defence Cooperation between India and France,” said Rajnath Singh in a tweet.
“We also appreciated the efforts made by the Armed Forces of India and France in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. France has affirmed its commitment to ensuring timely delivery of Rafale Aircraft despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Defence Minister said in another tweet.
We also appreciated the efforts made by Armed Forces of India and France in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. France has affirmed its commitment to ensure timely delivery of Rafale Aircraft despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) June 2, 2020
The first four Rafale fighter jets will start arriving in India from France by the end of July this year.
The aircraft was supposed to have been delivered by the end of May but was postponed for two months, in view of the COVID-19 situation in both India and France.
India signed an agreement of more than Rs 60,000 crore with France in September 2016 for 36 Rafale to meet the emergency requirements of the Indian Air Force.
Equipped with a long-range meteorite-to-air missile and the SCALP, Rafale will give India an edge over both Pakistan and China in terms of air attack capability.