NewsMobile Explainer: Rafale jets a ‘gamechanger’ for India

The induction of the first batch of five new Rafale fighter jets in the Indian Air Force fleet is being touted as a giant leap in India’s defence preparedness and strike capabilities. The five fighter jets were inducted in a grand ceremony at the Ambala Air Force Station on Thursday.

The five Rafale jets are the first batch of 36 supersonic omnirole combat aircraft that India is procuring from France.

Defence experts say that this will be a game changer along with Sukhoi Su-30MKI and that it would efficiently neutralise the threat presented by Chinese J-20 fifth generation fighter aircraft in case of a combat.

Why will the Rafale jets be a game changer? Here’s a complete lowdown:

Rafale has been customised for IAF and it will be a crucial enhancement to India’s Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft fleet

Rafale is equipped with India specific enhancements including helmet mount sight, radar warning receivers, flight data recorders with enough storage for 10 hours of data, infrared search and track systems besides jammers, cold start engine capability, towed decoys to lure incoming missiles away

Rafale jets also fully equipped to operate from high altitude bases in times of need

Rafale’s induction changes the technological imbalance India had in air vis-à-vis Pakistan’s US-supplied F16 aircrafts with superior radar and missile system
Rafale jets compare better in comparison with China-supplied Chengdu JF-17 aircraft as well, which is at the fulcrum of Pakistan Air Force’s fleet modernisation plans
 
Due to it state-of-the-art technology integration, Rafale has been classified as a 4.5 generation aircraft
 
 India will get 28 single-seat aircraft and eight twin-seaters for training purpose
 
Empty weight of Rafale ranges from 9900 kg to 10600 kg depending on the variant 
 
Maximum take-off weight of Rafale jet is about 24,500 kg
 
Rafale’s nose-to-tail length is 15.30 metres with a wing span of 10.9 metres each and a height of 5.3 meters
 
Rafale can attain a maximum speed of Mach 1.8/750 kt  or 2,222.6 km per hour

ALSO READ: In a major boost to air power, India inducts new Rafale jets

Rafale can climb up to 50,000 ft for combat 
 
Rafale can fly up to a range of 3,700 km, which could be further increased by refueling it mid-air
 
Rafale can carry some of the most advanced weapons available including MICA air-to-air ‘Beyond Visual Range’ (BVR) interception, combat and self-defense missiles
 
Rafale is the first operational and the only European combat aircraft to use an electronic scanning radar 
 
Rafale, according to reports, could climb around 60,000 feet per minute
India will be the fourth country to fly Rafale after France, Egypt and Qatar

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