The first five “Rafale” fighter jets have arrived in India, the first of 36 New Dehli ordered as it moves to upgrade air force amid a spike in tensions with China
On July 29th five Rafale fighter jets landed at India’s Ambala Air Base after a flight of 8,500 km , the Hindustan Times reported on July 30.
Shortly after the Rafale fighter jet landed, Rajnat Singh, India’s defence minister, said the new fighters would enhance the Indian air force’s operational capabilities against any threat to India. “The aircraft has very good flight performance, and it is equipped with weapons, radar, sensors and electronic warfare capabilities that are almost world class,” he said. Its arrival will make the Indian Air Force stronger and able to deter any threat that may be posed to our country. ”
“The landing of the ‘Rafale’ fighter marks the beginning of a new era in India’s military history, and this multi-role fighter will revolution the capabilities of the Indian Air Force,” Singh wrote on social media. ”
Reported that there have been Indian experts said that the “Rafale” fighter will significantly enhance the Indian Air Force’s offensive capabilities, is a “game changer.”
Air Force Major General Manmohan Bahadur, deputy director of the Indian Air Force’s Warfare Research Center, said the arrival of the Rafale was just the beginning and that “the Indian Air Force will incorporate ‘Rafale’ into its attack system in the shortest possible time”.
Reported that the first batch of “Rafale” fighter aircraft will be equipped with the Indian Air Force’s 17th “Golden Arrow” squadron, and the lead team will be “rafale” to the pilot back to India is the 17th squadron commander Harkirat Singh. On the way back to India, the Indian Navy destroyer Calcutta, deployed in the Western Arabian Sea, radioed Harkirat Singh, and the captain welcomed the pilots’ arrival. Mr Singh responded: “I am grateful that having an Indian warship at sea escorting us is the most reassuring thing.” ”
In September 2016, India and France signed a contract worth more than 600 billion rupees ($8.04 billion) to buy 36 Tornados. Of these, 30 were combat aircraft and 6 were two seater aircraft.
Indian pilots and ground crews received comprehensive training in France last year, including the use of advanced weapons system . It is understood that india ordered “wind gust” fighter aircraft will have the ability to cool start at high altitude bases. Engine cold start refers to start-up at roughly the same internal temperature as the ambient temperature, and in low-temperature, low-oxygen environments on the plateau, this capability allows the fighter to start directly without preheating, reducing the time for emergency take-off.
Also Rafale defeat the U.S. F-22 stealth fighter in the drills, so it will change the balance of air combat in the Border Region. However, Chinese so called military expert Zhang Xuefeng claimed in an interview with the Global Times, said that the “Rafale” fighter in some combat performance is indeed better than the Indian Air Force’s active main fighter Su-30MKI, but at best can only be higher than “1/4 generation”, there is no qualitative improvement.
How good is rafale ?
- Rafale is a canard type design delta wing aircraft with two powerful SNECMA M 88 engines which gives a speed of 1.8 mach or 1912 kmph which imparts excellent maneuverability to it meaning you can go at very low height and still destroy the target and quickly withdraw.
- It is a omnirole combat aircraft that can perform a variety of functions like air dominance,air superiority,reconnaissance,nuclear deterrence,anti ship attacks etc.
- It can be operated both from shore based locations as well as aircraft carrier and gives excellent operational flexibility.
- it has its own on board liquid oxygen generation sysem and capable of air to air refueling which reduces it’s dependency and gives longer flight time.
- It has superior stealth,radar evading prowess SEED( Suppressing Enemy Air Defence System) capability.
- It has been fine tuned as per Indian conditions and can carry Indian or Israeli or Russian origin missiles too which gives IAF superior viable options during combat.
- Rafale is coming with 5 years of support package including spares,TOT(transfer of technology) and arsenal of SCALP and METEOR missiles and make it very potent and lethal in air as well as on ground.
- It also encompasses IRST (Infrared Search and track) capability,compatible with HOTAS (Hands on Throttle And Stick system) making it easily controllable by the pilot, Missile approach warning radar and DVI(Direct Voice Input) system and a glass cockpit which tells about it’s excellent avionics.
- It comes in both single seater and dual seater variants and has maximum takeoff weight of 24,500 kg and most importantly it can be launched even from the high altitude air bases like Leh even on a cold start.
- It has given IAF strategic depth because the range is 3700 kms and a combat radius of over 1800 kms & both our adversaries in the west and north are well within this range and sends a loud and clear message to them.
- It has Helmet Mounted sights which imparts lightening fast ability to shoot off weapons and it also has a towed decoy system to thwart incoming missiles and french industrial support for next 50 years.
- It also has 10 hour flight data recording capacity.
- Thus the operational flexibility,superior strategic depth(range and combat radius)coupled with immense fire power owing to sound and a varied weapons system availability, smooth controlling (HOTAS compatible) and ergonomically sound cockpit design,Helmet mounted sights and radar evading prowess, easy maintenance and upkeep capability & complete independence from weather and climate constraints on its performance and working makes it a potent and lethal weapon.