The Indian Air Force Inducts the Rafale from France
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The Indian Air Force Inducts the Rafale from France

The Rafale is a mach 2.5 plane and comes in a number of roles. Its versatility can be seen from the fact that it can also be adapted for operation from an aircraft carrier. The plane needs a crew of 2 and has a twin engine power plant. The IAF plans a long term role for the Rafale that could well last till 2045. Selling the plane is a coup of sorts by the French

India is the words largest arms bazaar. In fact if figures have any meaning 10% of all military purchases world wide are made by India. Since the turn of the 21st century the IAF was looking out for fighter plane to replace their aging MIG-21(BIS) fleet. This was the final version of the famed interceptor. In consideration were fighter bombers from Russia, the UK and the USA. The French were late bidders to the tender floated by the Indian government but carried the day. Their Dassualt Rafale was shortlisted by the Indian Air Force. It is a multi role fighter bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The deal is for 126 of these machines with 18 being supplied in air worthy condition straight away. The balance 108 would be built /assembled at the Hindustan Aeronautics plant at Bangalore. On factor that swung the deal was the fact that the IAF has successfully operated the Mirage and the Oregon fighter’s right from the fifties of the last century.

The Rafale is a mach 2.5 plane and comes in a number of roles. Its versatility can be seen from the fact that it can also be adapted for operation from an aircraft carrier. The plane needs a crew of 2 and has a twin engine power plant. The IAF plans a long term role for the Rafale that could well last till 2045.

 The aircraft has been used by the French in their operations in Libya and Afghanistan. With a range of 3700 km the Rafale will add to India’s fire power over a large area. It will be able to sweep across the entire Region of Tibet and will cover the entire Pakistan. The Chinese are wary of the Rafale and have as per reports beefed up their air defenses in Tibet.

The French have incorporated the latest technology and avionics on board in the shape of SPECTRA electronic warfare system, Optronique Secteur Frontal (OSF, Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA), called MDPU (Modular Data Processing Unit), RBE2 AA Active Electronically

The plane is good. But its selection has political undertones as the Indian government did not wish to antagonize Russia or the USA by selecting any of their latest generation planes. Hence the option was for the Rafale. Moreover past history has shown that the French always honor their deals and contracts, unlike the British and the USA who during the 1965 war with Pakistan withheld spares for their aircraft in use by the IAF

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