France has delivered to India its first Rafale fighter jet from a series of 36 aircraft purchased in a multi-billion dollar deal in 2016. Defence Minister Florence Parly and her Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh, who is on a three-day visit to France, attended a ceremony at aircraft maker Dassault Aviation facility in Merignac, southwestern France. The $8.78 billion deal sparked controversy in India last year.
2016-17, six Indian Air Force fighter jets, two helicopters, one transport aircraft and one trainer crashed, while in 2017-18, it lost two fighter jets and one trainer aircraft. The number rose sharply in 2018-19 to seven fighters jets, two helicopters and two trainers. IAF incurred heavy losses of approximately INR525 crore ($75 million) due to 11 crashes.