New Delhi [India], July 31 (ANI): Union Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, on Thursday said he spoke to Wing Commander Vivek Vikram's parents a day after the first batch of five Rafale aircraft landed in Ambala.
"Spoke to Wing Commander Vivek Vikram's parents a day after he brought the first set of #Rafale fighter jets to India from France. His proud father Vikraman Nair says his family & the people of Ettumanoor, Kottayam are over-joyed & proud of their son," the Minister said in a tweet.
Earlier, five Rafale fighter jets touched down at Haryana's Ambala after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km to join the IAF.
The jets were given a customary water salute upon their arrival at the airbase, some 220-km from the India-Pakistan border.
The formal induction ceremony of the aircraft would be held later. The aircraft would move out soon to another operational base for operational sorties.
After taking off from France on Monday, the aircraft made their first stopover at a French base in the United Arab Emirates on their way to India and were refuelled by the French Air Force tanker aircraft somewhere around Greece or Israel over the sea before landing there.
The five Rafale were flown by pilots of the 17 Golden Arrows led by Commanding Officer Group Captain Harkirat Singh along with other pilots, Wing Commanders MK Singh, R Kataria, Sidhu and Arun.
The five Rafale fighter aircraft took off on Monday for India from an airbase in France.
India had signed a Rs 59,000-crore deal on September 23, 2016, for 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation. (ANI)