Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Wednesday flew a Rafale fighter jet at Aero India. The Skill Development Minister, who holds a commercial pilot licence, flew for around 35 minutes, and said he reached 8G. "It's a great machine it's going to empower IAF. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a right decision in inducting such a great machine," Rudy said after flying the machine at Aero India 2017. "I have been flying other aircrafts too.
I've flown in Su-30. This is a different machine. We reached up to 8G and I am not at all tired," he said.India and France signed an inter-government agreement for purchase of 36 Rafale fighters off-shelf on September 23 this year. This was after a long negotiation between the two countries over the price and other aspects of the deal which was agreed upon during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to France in April, 2015. The deliveries of the aircraft will start in September, 2019 and be completed in April, 2022 according to the defence ministry. The procurement includes a provision for offsets of 50 per cent of the value of the Aircraft and Weapons Package, excluding the value of Performance Based Logistics and Simulator Annual Maintenance, which will be discharged by the vendors through purchase of eligible products supplied by Indian firms.