Meet wing commander Manish Singh, who flew Rafale from France to India

Eventually, long-awaited golden moments arrived when the first five of 36 Rafale fighter jets landed at Ambala Airbase on 29th July, 20. It will definitely improve the confidence of the Indian Air Force. Remaining 31 Rafales will enter the IAF fleet by the end of next year.

What makes a Rafale valuable is its long hitting range, precise attack and ability to refuel itself while flying in the sky. This has also been demonstrated yesterday by the IAF pilots on their way from French Airbase to India.

It was indeed a proud moment for the seven Indian pilots who flew the five Rafale jets from France to India. Air Force chief RKS Bhadauria welcomed pilots at Ambala Airbase. The initial batch has 3 single-seated and two twin-seater jets.

The pilots include Group Captain Harkirat Singh who is the Commanding Officer of the 17 squadron, Wing Commander Manish Singh, Group captain R Kataria, Wing Commander Abhishek Tripathi, Wing Commander Siddhu and Wing Commander Arun.

In this article, we are going to talk about Wing Commander Manish Singh who hails from a small village called Bakwa in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh. Many in his family have served the forces. His father, Madan Singh, is a retired army jawan.

As far as his education is concerned, Wing Commander Singh did his schooling from a private school in the village and after studying in the village till Class IV, he went to the Sainik School in Karnal.

Wing Commander Singh joined the IAF in 2003 and was posted in Gorakhpur in 2017-18. After India finalised the Rafale deal with France, Wing Commander Singh was selected by the IAF to go to France for training.

His mother Urmila Devi says about the tensions at borders that prayers of the entire nation will not just keep his son safe but all the braves in India’s forces. “Ever since he was sent to France for training we were praying he should be chosen to bring the Rafale to India,” says his mother.

The Rafale covered a distance of almost 7000 km from France to India with aerial refueling and a solitary stop in transit in UAE. The Indian Air Force pilots and supporting staff have been given full preparation on airplane and weapon frameworks by Dassault.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.