SOURCE: HIMANSU SWAIN / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
IAF has faced many criticisms to fulfil its MMRCA desire. Everything has been changed since MMRCA tender was on table; Gov after Gov, minister after minister, CAS after CAS but except the Bureaucracy. The tussle between the Military & Bureaucracy has made many deals Khichdi rather than Biriyani. So, the question is being asked when it comes to IAF affection with Rafale aircraft which costs 2 times more than SU-30MKI that, why Indian Air Force is still pitching for more of these planes as these birds are economical in nature & if Pakistan buys such a plane, then their $ 80 debt trap will turn into a Death trap.
Generally, Indians’ interest always lies on getting American technologies in their hand but the cold era rivalry with American nexuses Pakistan made it difficult for them to reach at their aim. That’s why India opted France to fulfill that technological imbalance. French technology is believed as more competent to their American counterparts. Indian Air Force has a 3-long decade experience of handling Mirage-2000H which makes it comfortable to operate its next Gen Rafale aircraft.
Being a 4.5th gen fighter plane, it involves the integration of advanced military technologies including Radars, EW systems, etc. In 2016, India broke the ICE to buy only 36 Rafale under Gov-To-Gov deal while it is expected IAF is stretching its muscle to order additional 54 aircrafts on a motive to field 5 squadrons in her inventory. So there are many reasons, why IAF wants to procure more Rafale while showing hesitance to sign FGFA contract.
1. Rafale M has 13 hard points compared to 12 of Su-30MKI. Five of them are capable of drop tanks and heavy ordnance.
2. The awesome specialty is it’s faster 5th gen system core processor which integrates data & information at much faster rate than its Russian-Indian competitor.
3. Equipped with a RBE2-AA (AESA) radar system which is using about 1000 GaAs T/R modules and is reported to deliver a greater detection range of 200 km, improved reliability, and reduced maintenance demands over the preceding radar
4. EW Suite in form of SPECTRA system gives Rafale firing solution with 1* precision at 200 km. which carries out reliable long-range detection, identification, and localization of threats, allowing the pilot to instantly select the most effective defensive measures based on combinations of radar jamming, infrared or radar decoying and evasive manoeuvres. The outstanding capability of SPECTRA regarding airborne threat localization is one of the keys of the RAFALE’s superior situational awareness.
5. A fully-loaded Rafale is as manoeuvrable as a half-fully-loaded Su-30MKI as the ratio varies between both fighters.
6. Rafale makes extensive use of radar-absorbent material (RAM) in the form of paints and other materials. for instance. The aircraft is designed to, so that its untreated radar signature is concentrated in a few strong “spikes,” which are then suppressed by the selective use of RAM.
7. IRST surface of Rafale is covered in gold shield which reflects very less radar energy and thus has stealth. The internals of the cockpit are RCS shaped as well as the canopy containing gold and RAM coat on the mounts which reflects very less radar reflection.
1. In 2011, French Air Force and French Navy RAFALE fighters were successfully engaged in coalition operations over Libya. They were the first fighters to operate over Benghazi and Tripoli, and they carried out the whole spectrum of missions the Rafale was designed for: air-superiority, precision strikes and laser-guided bombs, deep strike with SCALP cruise missiles, Intelligence, Surveillance, Tactical Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance (SCAR).
2. Four RAFALES undertook the longest raid in French Air Force history, taking off from Saint-Dizier, in eastern France, and landing in N’Djamena, in Chad, after hitting 21 targets in MALI and spending no less than 9 h 35 min airborne.
1. PLAAF inducted 5th Gen fighter J-20 in the month of March,2017 & it is expected that china is to field around 100 of these planes by the end of 2020.As there is a hope for AMCA post-2020, IAF plans to induct more Rafale to maintain its balance with Chinese J-20 fleet.
2. During the 1st quarter of 2017, Pakistan was also showing interest to acquire J-20 fighter aircraft to balance its technological inferiority with IAF. Everybody knows that Chinese has a huge investment of over $50 billion in form of CPEC in Pakistan & India’s step to boycott CPEC over passing through disputed POK territory has given free hand to Chinese in showing their hostility with supplying advanced weapons to Pakistan.
Rafale is such an incredible Aircraft which can perform Air-defense / air superiority, Anti-Access/Area Denial, Reconnaissance, Close air support, Dynamic Targeting, Air-to-ground precision strike / interdiction, Anti-ship Role, Nuclear deterrence. So IAF has no option left to buy this French Item. That’s why fielding a strength of 5 squadrons (90 Aircrafts) of this kind is being necessary for IAF power projection…By the way, what do you think, should we buy more Rafale or diverted that money to FGFA R&D?