Hope you have heard this already. If you haven’t as yet, let’s tell you more on that. French fighter Rafale is set to serve the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the next four decades. Procuring 126 Rafale fighters is expected to bridge the gap between IAF’s major combat aircraft Sukhois and the low-end Tejas. Rafale will be IAF’s latest medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMCA).
The decision to choose French Dassault ahead of the American, Russian companies and the much talked about English Typhoon has come as a surprise.
Earlier, the British made Typhoon was expected to seal the deal with IAF, but India chose the relatively similar, but cost-efficient Rafale. The decision has come about as a major disappointment to the British Euro Fighter Company.
The purchase would bring 6 squadrons of Rafael which will complete the IAF squadron requirement of 39, and is capable of carrying 2 crew at a time, cruse at lightning speed of 2,130kmph and can carry out air-to-air, air-to-ground attacks with utmost precision.
Rafale’s nuclear capability will come in handy for the IAF for carrying out nuke operations as well. Although the deal has not yet been signed officially, negotiations are on.
Rafale has demonstrated its lethal capabilities in Afghan andLibya. The delta wing fighter is more maneuverable and its capability to land at slow speeds of 200 km/hr will make it a crucial for the Indian Air force.
The active electronically scanned Radar or ASEA makes Rafale nearly undetectable on radars while broadcasting powerful signals to its own base.
Though there has been questions raised about Rafale’s performance of not being a purely stealth aircraft, it is believed that Rafale will fulfill IAF’s MMRCA requirement andIndiahas started work on the indigenous fifth-generation aircraft with Russia.
Reportedly, the Defence Ministry has allocated Rs 62,000 crore for the project . IAF will buy only 18 aircraft from France and the rest will be manufactured at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) base in Bangalore.