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India inducts Rafale jets amid rising tensions with China

New Delhi says move sends 'stern message' to those eyeing its sovereignty

NEW DELHI -- India said Thursday the induction of the first batch of five French-made fighter jets into service in its air force will enhance its defense capabilities immensely and send "a big and stern" message to those eyeing its sovereignty, an obvious reference to China with which it is engaged in a tense border standoff.

"[The Rafale induction] is an important and historic moment," Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said at a ceremony at the Ambala Air Force Station in northern Haryana state on Thursday, also attended by his French counterpart Florence Parly.

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