There is no virtue like protecting the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday as welcomed the first batch of five Rafale jets which landed in Ambala with a tweet in Sanskrit.
He also shared a brief video of a Rafale fighter aircraft landing at the Ambala Air Force station.
Broadly translated, the prime minister said in his tweet that there is no virtue like protecting the nation, there is no vow like defence of the nation.
"Swagatam" (welcome), he said with the hash tag "RafaleInIndia".
The Rafales were escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKIs after they entered the Indian air space and were given a water salute when they landed in Ambala.
Describing the arrival of five Rafale fighter jets as a historic day for the Indian Air Force and a proud moment for India, Union home minister Amit Shah said they are the world's most powerful machines capable of thwarting any challenge in the sky.
In a series of tweets, Shah also said the Modi government is committed to building on India's defence capabilities and added that the world class fighter jets will prove to be a "game changer".
"Rafale touchdown is a historic day for our vigorous @IAF_MCC and a proud moment for India! These are the world's most powerful machines capable to thwart any challenge in the sky. I am sure Rafale will
help our Air warriors to safeguard our skies with its mighty superiority," he said.
The home minister said the induction of the next generation aircraft is a true testimony of the prime minister's resolve to make India a powerful and secure nation.
Shah also thanked Modi for providing this "unprecedented strength" to the IAF.
"From speed to weapon capabilities, Rafale is way ahead! I am sure these world class fighter jets will prove to be a game changer. Congratulations to PM @narendramodi ji, DM @rajnathsingh ji, Indian Air
Force and the entire country on this momentous day. #RafaleInIndia," he said.
Five French-manufactured Rafale multi-role combat jets touched down at the IAF station Ambala on Wednesday.
The Modi government had inked a Rs 59,000-crore deal in 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets from aerospace major Dassault Aviation.
The fleet, comprising three single-seater and two twin-seater aircraft, are being inducted into the IAF as part of its Ambala-based No 17 Squadron, also known as the 'Golden Arrows'.