Indian Air Force Day 2020: Why Rafale jets were inducted into the 'Golden Arrows' squadron?
Indian Air Force Day 2020: Why Rafale jets were inducted into the 'Golden Arrows' squadron?
Photo: IAF

The 88th Indian Air Force Day will be celebrated on Thursday, October 8. It is celebrated to mark the day the Indian Air Force was established in 1932.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force conducted a full dress rehearsal on Tuesday, including a flypast by its aircraft, at its Hindon base in Ghaziabad.

The Tejas LCA, Jaguar, Mig-29, Mig-21 and Sukhoi-30 aircraft were part of the rehearsal, besides the newly inducted Rafale fighter jet, an IAF official said.

To the uninitiated, five Rafale fighter jets were formally inducted into the IAF on September 10 in a major boost to India's air power capability at a time when the country has been engaged in a months-long tense border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.

According to a report, a traditional ‘sarva dharma puja’, a ceremonial 'water cannon salute' and an aerial display featuring various breathtaking manoeuvres by the aircraft marked their induction of the Rafale fighter jets into the 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ of the IAF at the Ambala airbase.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh presented an induction scroll to Group Captain Harkeerat Singh, the Commanding Officer of the 17 Squadron of the ‘Golden Arrows’ of the IAF thus formally completing the induction of the five Rafale fighter jets into the squadron.

Speaking during the induction ceremony, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, said, “The Rafale aircrafts along with the skills of the 17 Squadron of the ‘Golden Arrows’ will form a lethal combination and will challenge our adversaries.”

"This induction could not have happened at a more opportune time considering the security situation today. The aircraft has already flown and familiarised with the operational needs and Rafale are good to go and deliver," added Bhadauria.

Meanwhile, Rajnath Singh said that the induction of Rafale jets into the IAF has also strengthened the Indo-French relations. "We are facing new geostrategic challenges and our two democracies are working together to resolve these challenges," he added.

As per IAF, "The 'Golden Arrows' was resurrected on 10 Sep 19. The Squadron was originally raised at Air Force Station, Ambala on 01 Oct 1951. 17 Squadron has many firsts to its credit; in 1955 it was equipped with first jet fighter, the legendary De Havilland Vampire. In Aug 1957, the Squadron became the first to convert on to a swept wing fighter, the Hawker Hunter."

(With PTI inputs)

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