New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Moments after the first batch of Rafale fighter jets made a touch down at Ambala airbase today, Prime Minister welcomed the arrival of the aircraft with a tweet in Sanskrit. Broadly translated, the prime minister said in his tweet that there is no virtue like protecting the nation, there is no vow like defence of the nation. "Swagatam" (welcome), he said with the hashtag "RafaleInIndia".

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet also carries a reference to the motto carved on Indian Air Force insignia which says ‘Nav sparsham deeptam’ in Sanskrit or ‘touch the sky with glory. The Rafales were escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs after they entered the Indian air space and were given a water salute when they landed at the Air Force Station.

"The Birds have landed safely in Ambala," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, adding if anyone should be worried about the Indian Air Force's new capability, it should be those who want to threaten "our territorial integrity".

The comment is seen as a veiled message to China. Singh said that "the touch down of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our military history. These multirole aircraft will revolutionise the capabilities of the IAF".

This is the first batch from a contingent of 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation as part of a Rs 59,000-crore deal with the French government aimed at boosting the IAF's combat capabilities.

The emergency acquisition was made primarily to check the depleting combat capability of the IAF as the number of its fighter squadrons had come down to a worrying 31 against the authorised strength of at least 42.

(with PTI inputs)

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha