Soon Indian skies will be hawkeyed by the new war machine ‘Rafale’. The first batch of five Rafale jets flew out of France on Monday and will arrive in India on Wednesday after halting in UAE, when the fighter jets will officially be inducted and join the Indian Air Force fleet in Ambala, Haryana.
The deal for the 36 Rafale jets was signed in 2016 with France worth whopping US $8.78 billion (Rs 59,000 crore).
The jets were the much-needed necessity as the tension in Galwan valley fumed in the past weeks. India’s thirst for a multirole fighter gets ultimately got satisfied as the Rafale comes with a cutting edge technology like beyond visual range combat system (BVR Combat) along with the two-missile array - naming meteor and scalp. These not weaponry systems can not only engage the target without even getting a single blink on the radar of foe but also these jets can cover the range 3500km and have a battle radius of 1,850km which is quite sufficient to offer sleepless nights to PLA airforce.
The jets will be equipped with enhanced combat capabilities with India specific modifications. Besides the missile system, it comes along with Israeli tech -on helmet display, low band jammer, and radar warning system which will play a crucial role to display air superiority to neighbours.
India will be the fourth country to fly Rafale after France, Egypt, and Qatar. Having low-end 3rd gen jets like mirage 2000 and su30, having a multirole 4+ generation on the fleet will surely give an edge in future dogfights for India.
The first fleet will be set up at Ambala Airbase while the Second fleet will be held in Hasimara airbase in West Bengal. Indian skies would have echoed by the sonic boom of Rafale in May-June only but due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in both the countries. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is likely to pledge the purchase of Hammer (Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range) using the emergency financial powers granted to the military by the Centre at a time of border tensions with China.
The delivery of logistic material and testing equipment were clamped as the country was in complete lockdown for more than three months. It’s now the time for India to move-on front their age-old tech and primitive war machine like Mig-29s.