New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday will perform ‘Shastra Puja’ in Paris on Dusshera  where he will receive the first Rafale fighter jet, officials said. 

Rajnath will be leaving for Paris on a two-day visit, primarily to receive the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets on Tuesday when Dusshera coincides with the foundation day of the Indian Air Force. The Defence Minister will take a sortie in the aircraft from an airbase in Paris for first-hand experience. The first batch of four aircraft will reach India by May next year.

Officials said top military brass of France as well as senior officials of Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, would be present at the Rafale handing-over ceremony. Sources said a high-level team of the Indian Air Force was already in Paris to coordinate with the French officials on the ceremony. On October 9, Rajnath is scheduled to hold extensive talks with top defence brass of the French Government on ways to further deepen defence and security cooperation between the two countries.

The sources said the first squadron of the aircraft will be deployed at the Ambala Air Force station. The India-Pakistan border is about 220 km from there. The second squadron of Rafale will be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal. The Rafale jets will come with  India-specific modifications, including Israeli helmet-mounted displays, radar-warning receivers, low-band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, infra-red search and tracking systems.