PUBLISHED: 01:41, Fri, Sep 11, 2020 | UPDATED: 01:41, Fri, Sep 11, 2020
Rajnath Singh, India’s defence minister, said the new warplanes send a “strong message” to India’s potential adversaries. Earlier this week shots were fired along India’s disputed border with China for the first time in 45 years.
India has spent $9.4billion (£7.3billion) buying 36 French Rafale combat aircraft.
The first five formally entered service during a ceremony in Ambala, located near India’s border with China.
Pictured from the scene show Indian military personnel parading in front of the jet fighters.
Mr Singh took to Twitter to welcome the warplanes and praise India’s relationship with France.
There have been a number of clashes along India and China's contested border (Image: GETTY)
Military personnel parade in front of one of India's new Rafale jets (Image: GETTY)
He said: “The induction of Rafale is a strong message for the world and especially for those who challenge India’s sovereignty.
“Our country will not take any step to disturb peace anywhere. We expect the same from our neighbours.”
He later added: “India and France have a lot in common as two of the great democracies of the world.
“We look forward to enhance our bilateral relationship even further.”
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India has purchased 36 Rafale combat aircraft (Image: GETTY)
On Tuesday both China and India accused each other’s soldiers of firing warning shots during a confrontation in the