At a time when India and the world are facing China’s aggression, the Rafale fighter jets will fly from France to India. The first five fighter jets will come to India, while the remaining Rafale under the deal will join the Indian Air Force gradually. These five jets are expected to be inducted into the Indian Air Force at the Air Force Station, Ambala on July 29, subject to weather conditions.
Bon Voyage: Indian Ambassador to #France interacts with the Indian pilots of the Rafale. Congratulates and wishes them a safe flight to India with a single hop. #ResurgentIndia #NewIndia #Rafale@IAF_MCC @MeaIndia @rajnathsingh @Dassault_OnAir @DefenceMinIndia @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/jk3IWD9tYU
— India in France (@Indian_Embassy) July 27, 2020
Let’s know the importance of Rafale for India in five points, especially at a time when the country is facing an aggression by the People’s Liberation Army controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
- IAF’s (Indian Air Force) Mirage 2000 and the Su-30 MKI – are classified as either third- or fourth-generation fighters. Rafale is categorised as a 4.5 generation aircraft for its radar-evading stealth profile.
- A few days ago, it was reported in media that the Indian Air Force is ordering the AASM (Armement Air-Sol Modulaire) HAMMER (Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range) air-to-ground missiles from France on emergency basis. The HAMMER would give India the capability to take out any bunkers or hardened shelters in any type of terrain including the mountainous locations such as Eastern Ladakh.
- As the tension between India and China grew, a study published from the US think-tank opined that India has an edge over China in Air superiority. It observed, “The high altitude of Chinese air bases in Tibet and Xinjiang, plus the generally difficult geographic and weather conditions of the region, means that Chinese fighters are limited to carrying around half their design payload and fuel. The Indian Mirage 2000 and Su-30 jets are all-weather, multi-role aircraft — while of the Chinese jets, only the J-10 has those abilities”. Now, add Rafale to this equation which further strengthens India’s capabilities.
- In any eventuality of India’s conflict with China, taking benefit of it to open another front is Pakistan’s long-cherished dream. The induction of Rafale makes things difficult for Pakistanis. The then IAF Chief Dhanoa in March 2019 asserted that “once Rafales come, Pakistan won’t come near LoC”.
- The Rafale induction also boosts the political and military will of the nation. Many forces including Congress led by Rahul Gandhi apparently have tried to derail the deal by making baseless allegations. Neither the people of India, nor the highest court heeded to the concerted efforts by a section of media and political forces to deter India’s capacity building in defence.