New Delhi: In a historical development in the Air Force, Kargil war hero Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar, on Thursday, became the first pilot of the service to fly the first Rafale plane.

Nambiar flew a one-hour sortie with the plane, which was made for India in France.

MyNation has exclusive pictures of the officer flying the plane in France.

Nambiar is also leading a team to oversee the manufacturing of the 36 planes ordered by India and evaluate the flight test and training of its pilots by the French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation.

"A senior-level team led by Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar is in France from September 17 to 22 and will supervise the ongoing training and flight test evaluation of the Indian planes there. They would also be inspecting the weapon systems that are to be integrated with the Indian planes including the SCALP and METEOR missiles," government sources told MyNation.

After a long delay, India is looking to induct 36 Rafale planes from France starting in September 2019. The decision was taken to arrest the downfall in the number of combat aircraft squadrons in the force.