Game-changer! Rafale fighter jets to join Indian Air Force fleet soon

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Published: October 7, 2019 4:02:43 PM

Rafale’s induction into the IAF, along with HAL’s 123 Tejas of different categories and models that the IAF is pursuing will definitely stall the process of depletion of squadron strength substantially.

According to Chatterji, compared to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 which boasts of the stealth Rafales lacks it but it beats the F 35 in manoeuvrability and also super-cruise at higher speeds than the F 35, without using its after-burners. (Photo Credit: Dassault Aviation – K. Tokunaga)

On Oct 8, Dassault Aviation will formally hand over 1+3 French `Rafale’ fighter aircraft at a ceremony in Paris. The date is auspicious both by the Indian calendar as well as it is the Indian Air Force’s 87th birth anniversary.

In his first press interaction Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria after taking over as the Chief of Air Staff announced on Oct 4 that the French Dassault manufactured Rafale aircraft will be handing over 1+3 aircraft to the minister on Oct 8.

The chief also clarified that the aircraft are just being formally handed over to defence minister Rajnath Singh and will fly to India next summer in May before finally being inducted into service. These aircraft are loaded with the next-generation avionics and are manufactured according to the specifications given by. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is getting 36 Rafale through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route for around Rs 58,000 crore (€7.87 billion).

Also, once the aircraft is finally handed over, IAF pilots and ground crew will do extensive training before reaching here next year. By 2022, IAF will receive 36 aircraft and per the contract signed there will be 8 twin-seat and 28 single-seat fighters.

On Oct 8, Dassault Aviation will formally hand over 1+3 French `Rafale’ fighter aircraft at a ceremony in Paris. The date is auspicious both by the Indian calendar as well as it is the Indian Air Force’s 87th birth anniversary.

In his first press interaction Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria after taking over as the Chief of Air Staff announced on Oct 4 that the French Dassault manufactured Rafale aircraft will be handing over 1+3 aircraft to the minister on Oct 8.

The chief also clarified that the aircraft are just being formally handed over to defence minister Rajnath Singh and will fly to India next summer in May before finally being inducted into service. These aircraft are loaded with the next-generation avionics and are manufactured according to the specifications given by. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is getting 36 Rafale through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route for around Rs 58,000 crore (€7.87 billion).

Also, once the aircraft is finally handed over, IAF pilots and ground crew will do extensive training before reaching here next year. By 2022, IAF will receive 36 aircraft and per the contract signed there will be 8 twin-seat and 28 single-seat fighters.

What do experts think?

“IAF had inducted French aircraft Ouragan (Toofani) and the Mystere IV in the 1950-60s. The Dassault Mirage 2000, under upgrade, continues to be the cutting-edge fleet of the IAF,” says Air Marshal Anil Chopra (Retd), a pioneer of the Mirage 2000 fleet.

According to Chopra, “In addition to other technologies, Rafale will bring the RBE2 AA active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the SPECTRA integrated electronic warfare suite, Meteor Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM) and SCALP air-to-ground cruise missiles. It will be able to carry 9,500 kg external loads on its 14 hard-points. “

“The French Rafale is later planned to have the BrahMos NG missile. The main task of the French-trained core IAF team would be to formulate Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), tactics and weapon system exploitation for fleet operations in India,” Chopra explains.

Says Brig SK Chatterji (retd), “The Rafales are being loaded with Meteor air-to-air missiles and Scalp air-to-ground missiles. Both these missiles are longest range, most sophisticated missiles available, globally, in their respective classes.

According to Chatterji, compared to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 which boasts of the stealth Rafales lacks it but it beats the F 35 in manoeuvrability and also super-cruise at higher speeds than the F 35, without using its after-burners.

“However, 36 Rafales are not really an answer to India’s depleting squadron strength but definitely gives the IAF a qualitative equivalence to the best in the continent. It bridges a capability infirmity that we had in the employment of all kinds of strategic weapon systems we need to be able to deliver in an escalated hot war scenario,” Chatterji adds.

Rafale’s induction into the IAF, along with HAL’s 123 Tejas of different categories and models that the IAF is pursuing will definitely stall the process of depletion of squadron strength substantially.

“IAF had inducted French aircraft Ouragan (Toofani) and the Mystere IV in the 1950-60s. The Dassault Mirage 2000, under upgrade, continues to be the cutting-edge fleet of the IAF,” says Air Marshal Anil Chopra (Retd), a pioneer of the Mirage 2000 fleet.

According to Chopra, “In addition to other technologies, Rafale will bring the RBE2 AA active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the SPECTRA integrated electronic warfare suite, Meteor Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM) and SCALP air-to-ground cruise missiles. It will be able to carry 9,500 kg external loads on its 14 hard-points. “

“The French Rafale is later planned to have the BrahMos NG missile. The main task of the French-trained core IAF team would be to formulate Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), tactics and weapon system exploitation for fleet operations in India,” Chopra explains.

Says Brig SK Chatterji (retd), “The Rafales are being loaded with Meteor air-to-air missiles and Scalp air-to-ground missiles. Both these missiles are longest range, most sophisticated missiles available, globally, in their respective classes.

According to Chatterji, compared to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 which boasts of the stealth Rafales lacks it but it beats the F 35 in manoeuvrability and also super-cruise at higher speeds than the F 35, without using its after-burners.

“However, 36 Rafales are not really an answer to India’s depleting squadron strength but definitely gives the IAF a qualitative equivalence to the best in the continent. It bridges a capability infirmity that we had in the employment of all kinds of strategic weapon systems we need to be able to deliver in an escalated hot war scenario,” Chatterji adds.

World’s best combat helicopter ‘Apache AH-64E’ comes to India

Rafale’s induction into the IAF, along with HAL’s 123 Tejas of different categories and models that the IAF is pursuing will definitely stall the process of depletion of squadron strength substantially.

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