India, finally, has its Rafale! Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday received the first Rafale combat jet at Merignac Airport in France, powering the Indian Air Force to newer heights of air dominance and unrivalled deep strike capability. This is the formal handover ceremony but the first batch of four Rafale jets will fly to their home base in India by May 2020. All 36 jets are expected to arrive in India by September 2022.
INDIA GETS RAFALE: KNOW MORE ABOUT THE DREAM MACHINE
In-depth strikes, nuclear deterrence, versatility
The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. Rafale is a fully versatile aircraft which can carry out all combat aviation missions to achieve air superiority and air defence, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
India fourth country to fly Rafale
Initials of air chief 'RB-01' imprinted on Rafale tail fin
The initials of the air chief RB-01 have been imprinted on the tail fin of the first Rafale jet in honour of the key role that he played in the negotiations on behalf of India.
Capable of drop tanks, heavy ordnance
Rafale, with its 10-tonne empty weight, is fitted with 14 hardpoints. Five of them are capable of drop tanks and heavy ordnance.
Solid external load capacity
Rafale has a total external load capacity of more than 9 tonnes. This means that the Rafale can lift the equivalent of its own empty weight in payloads.
Meteor - The best beyong visual range missile in the world
MBDA's Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the 36 Rafale jets being procured by India at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore. Meteor is known to be the best beyond visual range missile in the world while Scalp is a deep strike weapon. Meteor is a next generation of BVR air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) designed to revolutionise air-to-air combat. The weapon has been developed by MBDA to combat common threats facing the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Sweden. The Rafale, with these two missiles, will help India achieve unmatched air dominance in the region. Guided by an advanced active radar seeker, Meteor provides all weather capability to engage a wide variety of targets from fast jets to small unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles.
SCALP- Deep Strike Weapon
The Scalp is an air-launched long range deep strike missile, designed to deal with pre-planned attacks against high value fixed or stationary targets. Scalp has been part of the UK's Royal Air Force and the French Air Force and was used in the Gulf War.