Tuesday, 25 January 2022

35 rafale jet to be delivered by 2021 December

35 rafale jet to be delivered by 2021 December

Given the reliability of strategic alliance France, the Indian Air Force (IAF), and the Indian Navy have evinced keen interest in the Rafale platform due to its weight to power ratio and maritime strike capabilities.

France will have delivered 35 Omni-role Rafale fighters by the end-2021 to India, with the last fighter making a solo journey to be soon activated Hashimara air base in north Bengal in January 2022. Already 26 soldiers have been delivered, with 24 landed in India and the remaining two kept for IAF pilot and technician training in France.

The IAF leadership wants to acquire more than 36 Rafales in the future. The Navy is looking for Rafale-M as a fighter option onboard INS Vikrant (Indigenous aircraft carrier-1), to be commissioned next year.

The induction of Rafale in western and eastern theatre has force multiplied Indian war-making capabilities.

35 rafale jet to be delivered by 2021 Decemeber 1getty image

Read More: The batch of 3 Rafale reached India from France

French fighter provides the longest-range air-to-air Meteor missile in sub-continent region, Hammer air to ground bright long-range perspective to ground weapon.

The Hammer missile, which India has acquired under emergency purchases, can be released at the height of mere 500 feet to hit a high altitude target more than 70 km away. The missile hugs the terrain and then climbs to a height of over 4000 meters before striking the target from a top-down action.

The Indian Rafales carry specially modified Hammer missiles due to high altitude targets, mountainous terrain, and Chinese recently acquired Russian S-400 air defense systems. The French have jointly developed Hammer and Meteor missiles with India with extended range and heavier payload.

While the French Rafale deliveries are slightly ahead of time, all eyes are on the activation of the Hashimara airbase, which will house the second squadron of Rafale fighters, with the first squadron being homegrown in Ambala. The presence of Rafale in India’s eastern sector will add teeth to its military response in the industry, with both Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh being a defense priority.

The positioning of Hashimara is such that it covers the Chumbi Valley, Sikkim, and the sensitive Siliguri corridor. While both Ambala and Hashimara are home bases of Rafale, the fighters with nuclear capability will be flying all over India and its littoral territories.

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