International Relations Science & Tech

France’s Rafale Marine Jet will be purchased by India

Rafale DAC Approval: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved bids for the Indian Navy to purchase 26 Rafale Marine fighter planes and three Scorpene submarines.

Rafale Marine Fighter Jets marine Variant:

  • Rafale Marine fighters are the marine version of the Rafale jets, of which the Indian Air Force operates 36.
  • Advanced Multirole Fighters: Dassault Aviation’s Rafales are advanced twin-engine multirole fighter jets outfitted with contemporary sensors, radar, and cutting-edge armament systems.
  • India-Specific improvements: The planes have India-specific improvements and can carry out a variety of tasks.
  • The navy model incorporates folding wings, a longer airframe for carrier landings, a tail hook for arrested landing, and stronger landing gear suitable for aircraft carriers’ circumstances.
  • Rafale Marine planes may carry a greater range of weaponry, including anti-ship and air-to-surface missiles, as well as specialised radar for maritime missions.

Current Fighter Fleet and the Need for More Fighters

  • MiG-29Ks: The Indian Navy now deploys MiG-29K multirole fighter aircraft from the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
  • Procurement Need: With some MiG-29Ks set to expire in the next decade and the Navy only having two operating carriers, additional deck-based fighters were required to meet operational requirements until the indigenous Twin Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF) was built.
  • Selection Criteria: Only Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale-M satisfied the Navy’s requirements, with the Rafale-M having the advantage of shared spares and maintenance with the Indian Air Force’s Rafale planes.

Importance of Rafale Jet Export and Usage for France:

  • The Rafale is an important part of France’s nuclear deterrence capability.
  • Deliveries and orders: France has purchased 192 Rafales in total, with 153 already delivered by the end of 2022.
  • Future Purchases: A new order of 30 fighters plus additional Rafales to compensate for those sold to Greece and Croatia is in the works.
  • Flight and operational hours: Since 2007, the aircraft has amassed 405,000 flight hours, including 63,500 operational hours flown by French pilots.

@the end

  • With their improved features and expanded weapon capabilities, the Rafale Marine planes will strengthen the Navy’s deck-based fighter fleet.
  • This buying decision is another step towards increasing India’s defence preparedness and defence industrial self-sufficiency.
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