New Delhi: France will formally hand over first Rafale fighter jet to Indian Air Force (IAF) on October 8, an official said on Tuesday.
The formal induction ceremony will be held at Merignac in France and will be attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
"Since October 8 is auspicious for two reasons. It is both Dussehra and Air Force day on that day. That could be a reason for formally inducting the jet into IAF inventory," the official said.
While the formal induction will happen on October 8, the first batch of four jets will fly to their home base in India only in next April-May.
All the 36 fighter jets will arrive by September 2022. India ordered 36 Rafale jets from France in a deal worth Rs 59,000 crore on September 23, 2016 — a deal that was at the centre of a political controversy in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. UNI