Defence Minister Rajnath Singh performs 'Shastra Puja' on the Rafale combat jet officially handed over to India today. "It is a historic day for India's forces," Singh said during the ceremony.
'Worship of instruments'
Shastra Puja literally translates into 'worship of instruments'. In the case of weapons of war, instruments are cleaned, bedecked with flowers and tilak and placed in a line, adjacent to a wall.
Manufactured by Dassault
Éric Trappier, Dassault Aviation CEO said, ''It is a great day for Indian Air Force and India, also for France and Dassault Aviation. We did what was in the contract and now it is ready to fly. We are very proud.''
Rajnath takes sortie
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh before taking a sortie in the Rafale combat aircraft.
Rafale jet carrying Defence Minister Rajnath Singh takes off for a sortie. It was flown by Philippe Duchateau, head test pilot of Dassualt Aviation.
As part of the 'Shastra Puja', the jet was adorned with a coconut, flowers, and sweets before its test run.