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What is the reason that Rafale “usurps” the Su-30MKI in the Indian Air Force?


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has officially put into service the Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter aircraft that ordered from France, Rafale determined to play a key role to replace the Su-30mki fighter line.

The Indian Air Force has identified the French-made 4.5-generation fighter as the spearhead of the combat force, which will hold the most important areas of the country to be ready to confront the enemy. The strongest player is China against India.

The IAF’s belief in the Rafale instead of the Su-30MKI is surprising, because before that the Russian-origin fighter was still considered the symbol of the Indian air force.

IAF Su-30mki
IAF Su-30mki

The fact that the Su-30MKI lost its position in the hands of Rafale comes from its lack of reliability when in recent times there have been quite a few aircraft that have crashed during training, not to mention the number of “grounded” to technical maintenance.

Not only that, but the Su-30MKI also pointed out a number of other disadvantages such as a large radar reflection area, relatively heavy, which takes a lot of time to prepare, especially India is concerned about China. China has a good understanding of Russian weapons and it will be easy to find a way to counter Russian-origin planes of India.

The fact has also proved that in the confrontation with the Pakistani Air Force in early 2019, the Su-30MKI fighters did not show any advantage over the JF-17, leading to an urgent need for a change. Because The Russian AAM didn’t perform well what Russian were claimed.

In a speech in Ahmedabad, Indian Prime Minister Modi also said that if the IAF was equipped with Rafale then they would not lose any aircraft, so what is so special about the French-made fighter?

Rafale is a 4.5-generation multirole fighter aircraft built by the French Dassault Aviation Group, it made its first test flight in July 1986 and was officially put into combat in 2000.

The aircraft is equipped with 2 SNECMA M88 jet engines with a capacity of 80.4 kN each for a maximum speed of 2,250 km/h; operating range of 1,800 km; flight ceiling 18,000 m; Weapon payload 9,500 kg.

These are extremely impressive parameters for a fighter with a length of 15.27 m and a maximum take-off weight of only 24.5 tons (for comparison, the much larger Su-30MKI can only carry 8 tons of weapons).

Indian air force Rafale fighter aircraft
Indian air force Rafale fighter aircraft

With a superior aerodynamic design and the support of the nose, Rafale can make sudden turns extremely flexible in tight spaces.

Thanks to the integration of the most modern Spectra electronic warfare system in the world today, the manufacturer confidently declares that Rafale will operate safely against enemy fire.

In addition, the most valuable detail of the Rafale is that it can use the advanced air-to-air missile Meteor manufactured by the European MBDA Corporation, combined with active electronically scanned array radar ( AESA) RGE2 for the ability to “foresee and shoot first”.

Rafale with meteor AAM
Rafale with meteor AAM

According to MBDA Corporation, Meteor creates a “No Escape Zone – NEZ” that is three times larger than conventional missiles, exceeding 100 km on a maximum range of 185 km (NEZ is the term for the area of ​​the machine. flying enemy cannot use pure agility to dodge bullets).

With the ability to pursue targets thanks to its superior algorithm, Meteor has 5 times more damage than conventional missiles like the American AIM-120 AMRAAM or the Russian-made R-77.

It is also important that the European Meteor missile is rated superior to Chinese-made air-to-air munitions, which will bring absolute superiority to the Indian Air Force.

Rafale and Su-30mki
Rafale and Su-30mki

It is known that India had previously intended to integrate this weapon on domestic fighter HAL Tejas as well as Su-30MKI, but MBDA rejected the offer.

The manufacturer said that the Meteor missile cannot be compatible with a Russian or Indian fighter platform, even if it has been modified avionics with many devices of Israeli and French origin.

This is one of the important reasons why New Delhi is determined to pursue the introduction of a fighter of European origin. The other reason lies in the policy of diversifying the supply of weapons, avoiding being dependent on the only exporting country


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