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‘Never Thought will Fly at Supersonic Speed One Day’: Rajnath Describes 1st Rafale Flying Experience

Rafale jet carrying Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was flown by Philippe Duchateau, head test pilot of Dassualt Aviation.

News18.com

Updated:October 8, 2019, 10:29 PM IST
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‘Never Thought will Fly at Supersonic Speed One Day’: Rajnath Describes 1st Rafale Flying Experience
Rajnath Singh Posing infront of Rafale Jet (Twitter/Rajnath Singh)

Bordeaux: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who took a sortie in the newly-acquired two-seater Rafale jet in French city of Merignac on Tuesday, said he had never thought that he will fly at supersonic speed in a combat aircraft one day.

Addressing the media soon after the ride, Singh said “It was a very comfortable and smooth flight. It was an unprecedented moment, I had never thought that one day I will fly at supersonic speed in a combat aircraft.”

Rafale jet carrying Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was flown by Philippe Duchateau, head test pilot of Dassualt Aviation.

Rajnath singh who later took to Twitter to recall his experience said taking a sortie in Rafale was a memorable and once in a lifetime experience adding the induction of Rafale will go a long way in strengthening our national defence.

Dressed in a G-suit, Rajnath took to the cockpit of a twin-seater trainer version of the Rafale jet. He was helped with strapping on the security equipment by officials of the Indian Air Force (IAF) who have accompanied him on the trip.

He waved his arms and showed the thumbs-up sign before the glass cockpit of the fighter jet shut down upon him.

This was Rajnath’s second sortie in a fighter jet in a span of less than 30 days. On September 19, Singh flew in the Tejas fighter aircraft from the HAL airport in Bengaluru, becoming the first defence minister to fly in the indigenously-built light combat aircraft (LCA).

Rajnath is on a three-day visit to France where he received the first Rafale combat aircraft in Merignac from a facility of Dassault Aviation earlier on Tuesday in the presence of the firm's CEO Eric Trappier and French Defence Minister Florence Parly.

"Our Air Force is the fourth-largest in the world and I believe that the Rafale Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft will make us even stronger and will give a boost to India's air dominance exponentially to ensure peace and security in the region," Singh said, addressing the gathering here in Hindi.

"I have been told that the French word Rafale means andhi in Hindi or gust of wind. I am sure that the aircraft will live up to its name,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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