“The 36 aircraft consignment is near completion as three more Rafale fighter jets will arrive in India from France by March-end on April first week,” government officials said.
The Rs 60,000 crore deal between India and France for 36 Rafale fighter jets is nearing its completion. Only one aircraft is left to be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF). Three more Rafale Fighter Aircrafts arrived in India on Tuesday evening that departed from France. The aircraft was provided aerial refueling support by UAE Air Force and with the arrival of these three planes, India has now received 35 of the 36 Rafales for which India has signed a contract with France in September 2016. The 36th aircraft will arrive in India by March-end or April first week”, said government officials.
This deal was wrapped around controversies for some time but now the deal is near its completion. Addition of an aircraft like Rafale will be a game-changer for Indian Air Force.
The state-of-the-art 4.5 Generation Rafale jet can reach almost double the speed of sound, with a top speed of 1.8 Mach. With its multi-role capabilities, including electronic warfare, air Defence ground support, and in-depth strikes, the Rafale lends air superiority to the Indian Air Force. While china’s J20 Chengdu aircraft are called 5th generation combat jets, compared to Rafale the 4.5 generation, but J20 has no actual combat experience. Whereas the Rafale is a combat-proven jet that have been used by the French Air Force for its missions in Afghanistan, Libya, and Mali. It has also been used for missions in the Central African Republic, Iraq, and Syria. In comparison to J20 Rafale can also carry more fuel and weapons.
The Rafale carrying the long-range meteor air-to-air missiles are considered to have an edge to edge fighter planes with Pakistan and China. The planes equipped with the Hammer missiles have strengthened India’s capability to carry out air-to-ground strikes like the one in Balakot.