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First Rafale delivery in September 2019 as per schedule: Kumar

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KOLKATA (PTI): The first Rafale fighter jet will be delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in September 2019 as per schedule, a top government official said on Saturday.

Rafale fighter jets, manufactured by France-based Dassault Aviation, are twin-engine multi-role fighter aircraft. These are nuclear capable and can engage in both air-to-air and air-to-ground attacks.

The first Rafale fighter jet will be delivered in September, Ajay Kumar, Secretary in the Department of Defence Production, said.

French Ambassador to India, Alexandre Ziegler had earlier this month assured that the first Rafale fighter aircraft will be delivered within two months and will be "perfectly on time".

All the 36 Rafale jets will be delivered to the Indian Air Force within the next two years, he said.

The Rafale deal has drawn flak from the Opposition which has alleged widespread corruption in the contract.

Asked about the Rafale offset partner issue, Kumar said, "It will be done as per the rules."

He was speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of Bharat Chamber Defence Facilitation Centre in Kolkata.

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