23 August 2019
New Delhi: The first Rafale fighter jet will be handed over to India in September, French President Emmanuel Macron said in Paris on Thursday during the course of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to his country.
Modi is currently on a three-nation tour and landed in France on Thursday.
"We have expressed our condolences for what happened in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14, 2019. We will continue to work together on terrorism. Our ties in the defence sector show how much we trust each other. We have also affirmed that we will help in 'Make in India' and the first Rafale aircraft will reach India by next month," said Macron.
India has signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with France for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from the French aviation major Dassault.
As per sources, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Air Chief B.S. Dhanoa are likely to visit France in the third week of September to receive the first jet of the 36 aircraft.
Prime Minister expressed hope for greater defence cooperation between India and France in the future.
"India offers great opportunities for French companies. There is scope for immense cooperation in skill development, aviation, IT and space. The strides made in India-France defence cooperation are promising. Our nations are also working on maritime as well as cyber security," tweeted Modi.