THERE HAVE BEEN SOME QUERIES ABOUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED to delivery schedule of the Rafale fighters with onboard India specific systems that were expected to have started arriving by end May 2020. But delays on account of the COVID-19 pandemic that France too is battling were naturally expected. On May 30, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had a telephonic conversation with his French counterpart Florence Parly during which she conveyed that the Rafale jets will be delivered to India as scheduled. Apparently, due to the shutting down of the Dassault Aviation facility in Mérignac, the manufacturing of these aircraft had to be put on hold. However, after the lockdown was lifted, the work has started, as also the training of personnel with stringent COVID-19 protocols in place.
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May - June 2020