Highlights

  • 95 French troops part of R-Day parade
  • Rafale fighter jets roar through Delhi sky
  • President Emmanuel Macron chief guest

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French Rafales, marching contingent take part in Republic Day parade

It was the second time the French armed forces participated in India's Republic Day celebrations.

French Rafales, marching contingent take part in Republic Day parade

Two Rafale fighter jets flanked by a multi-role tanker transport aircraft of the French Space and Air Force roared through Delhi's sky as India celebrated its 75th Republic Day at a grand parade on Friday with French President Emmanuel Macron gracing it as the chief guest.

As soon as around 95 French troops marched down the Kartavya Path at the heart of the national capital, the whizzing warplanes pierced the morning sky making thousands of spectators crane their necks in wonder.

A 30-member band contingent from France also drew attention at the grand parade.

It was the second time the French armed forces participated in India's Republic Day celebrations. In 2016, French troops became the first foreign military contingent to participate in the biggest ceremonial event of the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the guest of honour at the prestigious Bastille Day Parade in Paris in July last year.

The Indian Air Force's Rafale fighter jets and a tri-services marching contingent took part in the Bastille Day parade.

"This reciprocal invitation to national day celebrations is unprecedented, and shows the deep mutual trust and unwavering friendship underpinning Indo-French ties," a French readout said on India inviting Macron to the Republic Day celebrations.

The French military contingent that participated in the parade comprised six Indians. It was led by Captain Noel Louis.

The contingent belonged to the Corps of French Foreign Legion.

The French Foreign Legion is an elite military corps that is open to foreigners who want to serve in the French Army.

Set up in 1831, the French Foreign Legion is an integral part of the French Army.

At present, it has almost 9,500 officers and legionnaires.

The defence and strategic ties between India and France have been on an upswing in the last few years.

The two strategic partners have been looking at co-development and co-production of advanced defence technologies, including for the benefit of third countries.

The two sides are also expanding cooperation in the maritime domain including in the Indian Ocean Region.

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