It’s finally sorted and a green signal for the Indian Air Force after an agonising wait of 16 years since its first demand. India finally seals the deal with France for the multi-role fighter jet Rafale on Friday. It’s a 7.87 billion euros deal for 36 next generation fighter jets. Rafale is a state of art Omni-role fighter plane which can perform air defence and ground attack simultaneously. It is equipped with 150 km range Meteor Air to Air missiles.
It has a carrying capacity of 9.3-tonne weapons. It is also capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It is designed to strike in the sky as well as on the ground, thus is has a target range of 70kms to 300kms. With the induction of Rafale fighter jets in the Indian Air force, it will enhance the deep strike capabilities and air power many folds. The intergovernmental agreement was signed between the Defence Minister of India Mr Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Rafale is manufactured by Dassault Aviation of France. Rafale means “Gust of Wind” and” Burst of Fire”. It is the French twin-engine fighter plane which is a generation ahead of the US F-16 and F-35. It is designed for air supremacy, ground support and nuclear deterrence missions. The aircraft is capable of withstanding from -3.6g to 9g. The state of the art technology uses digital fly-by-wire flight controls to ensure stability and support low-speed operations as well. It has a wing span of 10.90 m and 15.30m in length.
It can fly at Mach speed of 1.8 or 750 knots. The maximum height attained in manoeuvres is 50,000 ft. Overall the combat fighter has added power to our Air armour. The first Rafale is expected to touch down in India in next 3 years and the full fleet is supposed to be inducted in Indian Air force by 2022. This will also give an edge over the neighbouring countries which depend on the F-16s for their Airpower.