The first four Rafale jets will arrive at their home base in India by May 2020 The aircraft has a tail number RB-002, which marks the initials of Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria, who played a key role in completing the Rs59,000 Cr deal for the Jets

One day after Defense Minister Rajnath Singh formally took over the first of the 36 Rafale multipurpose jets, Dassault Aviation, the French company producing the jets, has released the first aerial photos of the second RB-type aircraft.

The first four Rafale jets will arrive at their home base in India by May 2020. All 36 jets are expected to arrive in India in September 2022.

On Tuesday, Singh and his French counterpart Florence Parly attended the handover ceremony at aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation in Merignac, southwestern France.

The RB001 Rafale, which marks the initials of Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria, who played a key role in the implementation of the 59,000 rupee agreement for the jets in his former role as deputy IAF chief, was unveiled against the backdrop of the Indian tricolor.

Parly described the Rafale as symbolizing the best that France has to offer India to protect its sovereignty, as well as the French commitment to the Make in India initiative.

These Rafale fighter aircraft were developed specifically for IAF requirements, which the manufacturer described as a new step in the company’s long-term relationship with India.

In Bordeaux, Singh embarked on a tour of Dassault Aviation’s latest Rafale assembly line.

He was accompanied by members of the armed forces, including Air Marshall Harjit Singh Arora.

Also present were representatives of the top military from the French side.

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