Aero India: Photo-mania grips Rafale aircraft

Last Updated 22 February 2019, 05:50 IST

Even as the attendees to the Aeroshow 2019 were seen excited about taking a glimpse of the fourth generation fighter aircraft Rafale, which has been in news off late due to alleged lapses in its procurement, Dassault Aviation has kept the access limited to the Aircraft.

The company, which has put the aircraft on display at the show, is letting on the people with VIP passes go inside the aircraft. There has been an increased curiosity across the country over the India-specific upgrades in Rafale aircraft that the government has been talking about.

On the other hand, Rafale has been witness to large number of excited attendees trying to have a snap with the aircraft. In fact, the fighter jet, at the Aeroshow has seen more interest from the attendees than any other aircraft.

“It has been all over the news for past one year. So we wanted to catch a glimpse of the aircraft,” said one of the attendees, who was seen getting a photo clicked with the fighter jet, which has been parked for display in the exhibition area of the Aeroshow.

Many other attendees were seen clicking photos and videos as the aircraft displayed it prowess in the aerobatics of the Aeroshow.

“We are trying to see what is being sold to us at such a huge sum,” said yet another attendee, who said he had mainly travelled to Aeroshow for checking on the fighter jet.

However, there were many attendees who were critical of Congress President while taking pictures with Rafale. "There is no issue in Rafale. It is only that Rahul Gandhi thinks there is one," said one of the female attendees to the show.

On the first day of the Aeroshow, Rafale fighter jet paid a tribute to slain Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Sahil Gandhi, who lost his life in the mid-air collision of two Suryakiran Aircraft during the rehearsal of Aeroshow.

The government of India has ordered 36 Rafale jets from the Dassault in ready to fly condition, in a reworked deal. In an earlier deal, of the total 126 aircraft ordered 18 would have come in a fly-away condition, while the remaining ones would have been manufactured locally by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The opposition, led by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, has been alleging a scam in the procurement of the aircraft.

(Published 22 February 2019, 05:50 IST)

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