Essay on Rafale

Essay on Rafale

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In the month of September of 2016, India made an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) worth of €7.87 billion (₹59,000-crore) with the government of France, for 36 Rafale multi-role fighter jets. The deal has a 50% offset clauses to be executed by Dassault Aviation and its partners in partnership with Indian companies. The basic cost of the aircraft is around ₹680 crore, making this deal is India’s biggest-ever purchase in this regard.

The first batch of 5 Rafale jets was delivered to India on 29th July 2020 as scheduled, though the spare parts of the aircraft were delivered earlier, and after the official induction of these fighter jets, they’ll join into the No. 17 Ambala-based ‘Golden Arrows’ squadron of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Rafale deal with France

The Rafale is claimed to have ‘Omnirole’ capability to perform several actions simultaneously, such as firing air-to-air missiles at a very low altitude, air-to-ground, and interceptions during the same sortie.

An onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS) will come equipped with the aircraft, which suppresses the need for liquid oxygen re-filling or ground support for oxygen production.

Many international aviation manufactures expressed their interest regarding the Indian government’s plan to revamp its Air Force fleet by introducing Multi-Role Combat Aircrafts. After the IAF’s conduction of technical and flight evaluations, Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon were declared to have met its criteria; the Sukhoi Su-30MKI was also one of the considerations.

On 31st January 2012, the Indian Ministry of Defence announced Dassault Rafale as the winner of the MMRCA (The Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) competition to supply the Indian Air Force a total of 126 aircraft, also with an option for 63 additional aircraft. Rafale was declared an L-1 bidder and the contract negotiations began with its manufacturer, Dassault Aviation, that year, and remained incomplete even after two years. There was no deal under the UPA government as there were some issues with the deal.

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    Though, India managed to negotiate the acquisition of the latest weapons package for the Rafale, which is beyond the standard. Out of the 36 Rafale jets, there will be 30 fighter jets and 6 trainers. These trainer aircraft will be twin-seater and with similar features of the fighter jets. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, who retired after a tenure of 41 years in the IAF, strongly spoke in favor of the deal and said that the force needed to jets to enhance its combat capabilities.

    It includes SCALP, a precision long-range ground attack missile capable of destroying targets with extreme accuracy with the help of its highly accurate seeker and target recognition system. It has a range of 300 Km. The Rafales will be equipped with the MICA weapon system, which is integrated into Mirage 2000 aircraft of the IAF’s.

    The METEOR is the best in class next generation of BVR air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) designed to revolutionize air to air missile and is capable of taking out enemy aircraft at a range of over 100Km. MBDA has developed the weapon by keeping in mind the common threats facing the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and Sweden. The Meteor is powered by a unique rocket-ramjet motor, which provides it with more engine power for a longer duration.

    Furthermore, it’s guided by an advanced active radar seeker; Meteor provides the all-weather capability to engage a wide variety of targets from fast jets to small unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles. Various modifications specifically for India will come equipped with the jets, such as Israeli helmet-mounted displays, radar warning receivers, low band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, infra-red search and tracking systems among others, apart from the missile systems.



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    Rafale: The preparations by the IAF

    As preparatory measures for these extremely capable war-machines, the IAF aircrew and ground crew have undergone comprehensive training for the aircraft, including its advanced weaponry. Twelve IAF pilots and engineering crews have been fully trained on the Rafale fighter jets.

    The immediate focus will be to ensure that the pilots and ground crew put their best foot forward and become integrated with the overall IAF operations at the earliest. Furthermore, another primary focus will be on the operational perspective of the aircraft at the earliest.

    Moreover, in recognition of Air Chief Marshal (retd) B.S Dhanoa’s unrelenting efforts and support for the Rafale deal, the IAF has decided to put tail numbers with “BS” initials in 30 Rafales.

    And RB series tail numbers will be carried by six Rafale trainer aircraft to pay tribute to Air Chief Marshal R.K.S Bhaduria, the current Chief of Air Staff who played a significant role for the historic deal as a chairman of the negotiating team.


    The Rafale deal is nothing less than a historic decision, a big step towards taking the country in the right direction by enhancing its combat capabilities and ensuring its citizens’ safety. Though the deal has been controversial, its impact will be significant, especially taking the border tension with neighboring countries into account. With enhanced vision and more capable offense mechanisms, the deal will boost both the performance and confidence of India’s defense industry.

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