NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will fly a sortie on a Rafale aircraft in France on October 8, defence sources said here on Thursday.
"Rajnath Singh will fly a sortie on a Rafale aircraft when he formally receives the first aircraft in France on October 8. He will fly the sortie on a two-seater trainer aircraft," a senior defence ministry official told IANS.
The Defence Minister will be flying to France to receive the first of the 36 Rafale aircraft, as per a contract which India has entered into with the fighter jet's manufacturer Dassault Aviation. The date has been chosen for formally receiving the aircraft because Dussehra this year falls on October 8. Air Force Day in India is also observed on October 8.
In September, Rajnath Singh had flown a 30-minute sortie on a Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in Bengaluru. He had described the experience as thrilling and had also said on the occasion that India is ready to export the LCA.