India is preparing to send a military contingent including fighter aircraft to take part in the French National Day parade where Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be the guest of honour. The French traditional military parade is held in Paris during the Bastille Day on July 14. The visit is also marking the 25th anniversary of the “strategic partnership” between France and India.

“The Indian military contingent would be including a marching contingent and the Indian Air Force would be deploying its fighter aircraft to take part in the flypast of the event,” defence officials told ANI. The French Air Force is planning to field its Rafale combat aircraft in the parade which is also in the Indian inventory.

India may send aircraft from the Jaguar fleet which has been designed by the French and joined the Indian Air Force in the 1980s in significant numbers. In 2016, when French President Francois Hollande had come to India for the Republic Day parade, the French side also sent its contingent. At that time, the French contingent comprising 56 personnel of the 35th Infantry Regiment of the 7th Armoured Brigade had come.

The soldiers of their regiment were deployed in India between 1781 and 1784. The contingent was preceded by pipes and drums comprising 48 musicians. India may also send a contingent from the units who have had a history of fighting in the French area during the world wars fought in the last century.