The Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain has confirmed that all 36 Rafales have been delivered to India on time despite Covid-19, and added that people in the industry have worked extra shifts to make it happen. When asked about the status of delivery of Indian Rafales, the French envoy told ANI, “Of course, I mean, there are 36 Rafales for the Air Force that have been delivered on time. In spite of COVID, and anything. People in our industry have been working extra shifts, day and night and weekends to deliver to the Indian Air Force, on time.”

Describing “trust” as the core of the partnership between India and France, he said that this relationship between the two nations allows them to bet and jointly develop technologies and commit to each other. “The core of the partnership between France and India is trust. We know that we can commit for years, for decades and we won’t change our minds, and that’s really important. So, that allows us to bet and to jointly develop technologies which need years and years, and it would be used for decades through and via into the defence sectors,” Lenain said.

“So yes, we have decided to work on the defence sector together. It’s important for strategic autonomy,” the envoy added. Talking about the ties between India and France, Lenain said, “India’s economy is developing. We feel we need to see more of India in the international governance and for a country like mine it is very welcoming. India and France share the same values and we are both large democracies, we have the same vision of free and open Indo-Pacific so we want to see more of India at UNSC, in global efforts to tackle global issues.”

Three Indian Air Force Rafale fighter jets, as part of the military contingent, are poised to participate in the Bastille Day flypast over the Champs Elysees, Paris, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be the guest of honour, as per the release. The Indian military contingent would also be part of the marching contingent on Bastille Day.

At the invitation of France President Emmanuel Macron, PM Modi will be the Guest of Honour on France’s National Day on July 14.The French traditional military parade is held in Paris during the Bastille Day on July 14. PM Modi’s visit will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the “strategic partnership” between France and India. The Rafale is a 4.5-generation aircraft and has helped India regain its supremacy over Indian sub-constituent skies with long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles along with advanced radar and electronic warfare capabilities.

They are the latest fighters to have been inducted into the Indian Air Force and are considered to be the most potent in the entire Asian region. The 36 Rafales have been completely inducted and they have played a significant role in improving the country’s operational preparedness along both the borders with Pakistan and China. The French firm Dassault Aviation is also involved in the maintenance of the aircraft whose serviceability is over 75 per cent. The IAF has also added the HAMMER missile to the Rafale’s arsenal as it was required for carrying out precision attacks at shorter distances.