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IAF chief flies Rafale fighter aircraft


French Air Force rafale. Photo: Dassault Aviation.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne has taken an hour-long sortie in a Rafale fighter aircraft which has been selected by India for its multi-billion dollar deal to procure 126 jets.

On a four-day visit to France, the IAF chief flew the fighter jet at the St. Dizier Airbase and was accompanied by the Rafale squadron Commander Squadron Leader Kubiak Thierry.

On completion of the sorties, he was congratulated by General Jean-Paul Palomeros, Chief of Staff of the French Air Force, officials said here Thursday, adding that Colonel Jean-Pierre Moontegu, Base Commander at St. Dizier Airbase was also present during the occasion.

During the visit, which started on May 21, Browne called on the new French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud and his French counterpart General Jean-Paul Palom'ros to discuss the ongoing defence cooperation between the two country.

The IAF chief also met the members of Indian team there for the Mirage 2000 aircraft upgrade programme, the officials said.

Aiming to expanding the already robust bilateral military ties between the two countries, Browne also visited, Cognac, Istres and St.Dizier airbases of the French Air Force (FAF).

India had taken a decision early this year to select Rafale as the lowest bidder for the multi-billion dollar deal and has been holding contract negotiations with French company Dassault Aviation in this regard.

France has also provided IAF its frontline Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft which are presently undergoing various stages of modernisation there.

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India  Air Chief  Rafale   

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