Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Rafale deployed near the eastern China Border by India

Rafale was deployed near the eastern China Border by India

India has deployed its latest Omni-role Rafale fighter jets close to the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction on the eastern front with China, which constitutes a new deterrent just before the next round of top-level military talks between the two countries, likely on Saturday.

Eight new Rafales, armed with decidedly deadly weapons packages, were formally inducted into the 101 `Falcons of Chhamb and Akhnoor’ Squadron at the Hasimara airbase in West Bengal on Wednesday.

As the 4.5-generation Rafales fly into the sky with sonic thunder to shatter the calm over Hasimara, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria said

the 101 Squadron with the “unmatched potential” of the new fighters

“would dominate whenever and wherever required, and ensure the adversary would always be intimidated by their sheer presence.”

The first Rafale squadron, the 17 `Golden Arrows,’ is already fully operational at the Ambala airbase with its full complement of 18 fighters, which have been undertaking regular sorties in eastern Ladakh amidst the continuing military confrontation with China there.

The remaining 10 of the 36 twin-engine Rafales, contracted under the Rs 59,000 crore deal inked with France in September 2016, are slated to arrive in batches before the deadline of April next year.

Rafale was deployed near the eastern China Border by India 1getty image

Read More: 35 rafale jet to be delivered by 2021 December

The deployment of the French-origin Rafales in the eastern sector, along with the Russian-origin Sukhoi-30MKI fighters already operating from airbases like Tezpur and Chabua, will lead to a more significant offensive punch against China.

China, of course, has four times the number of fighters and bombers as compared to IAF. It has also upgraded its major air bases like Hotan, Kashgar, Gargunsa (Ngari Gunsa), Lhasa-Gonggar, and Shigatse for additional fighters and bombers Ladakh crisis first erupted in April-May last year.

But the IAF has a distinct “terrain advantage” in combat potential, both in terms of aerial combat and ground attack, along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control, stretching from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

The Chinese airbases facing India are locating at high-altitude with exclusive air, severely limiting the weapon and fuel-carrying capacity of fighters. Moreover, contend IAF officers, their upgraded Mirage-2000s, MiG-29s and Sukhoi-30MKI jets, and now the latest Rafales, are technically superior to the bulk of Chinese fighters.

With a combat range of 780-km to 1,650-km depending on the mission, the Rafales are arming with long stand-off weapons like the over 300-km range `Scalp’ air-to-ground cruise missiles. They also have top-notch Meteor air-to-air missiles, with a strike range of 120 to 150-km better than any missiles currently carried by Chinese or Pakistani jets.

IAF also ordered the “Hammer” air-to-ground precision-guided munitions, which have a strike range of 20 to 70-km, to destroy bunkers, hardened shelters, and other targets for the Rafales.

However, Ambala and Hasimara would be the primary operating home station’ for Rafales, which also have advanced radars, avionics, and electronic warfare systems to prevent jamming by the opponent and ensure superior survivability in hostile contested airspace,

The fighters can operate from anywhere in the country and when required.

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