The Rafale Deal: Air Supremacy

The Rafale Deal: Air Supremacy

When the responsibility of the nation's safety rests on your shoulders, you must be prepared to combat and defeat any foreign threat and India is gearing up to place rockets on its shuttle and doing this one step at a time.

Military aviation is undoubtedly the most strategic weapon today, both in terms of combat effectiveness and of critical technologies implemented. In modern warfare, air dominance from day one is a must, so that air-to-ground and air-to-sea operations can be conducted safely and efficiently.
In the course of asymmetrical and counter-insurgency conflicts, the air arm also remains at the forefront of the military effort, its flexibility and firing power helping ensure that allied forces prevail.

India in September 2016 signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with France to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly-away condition for €7.8 billion.

As a part of the contract, India will also get the latest weapons like the Meteor and Scalp missiles, besides a five-year support package that assures high availability of the fighter.The earlier deal for 126 medium multirole combat aircraft reached an impasse during negotiations under which, it was decided that India will pay 15 per cent in advance and the contract was to be given to HAL.

Recently, Dassault said the company had picked Reliance as its Indian partner to meet requirements for local offset established by the Indian Defense Procurement Procedure and Make in India policy. 

The first Rafales are expected to be delivered by 2019, and India is set to have all 36 jets within six years. This deal is a boost for the future of the Indian Airforce which already holds a mighty pack. 

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa described the decision to buy the Rafale fighter jets as a "bold move" by the government and said it was an "emergency purchase" keeping in view the depleting squadrons of the Air Force terming the deal a "good package" and a "game-changer" for the subcontinent. 


The Dassault Rafale, literally meaning "gust of wind", and "burst of fire" in a more military sense is a French twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. It is fitted with two Snecma M88 engines, each capable of providing up to 50 kN (11,250 lbf) of dry thrust and 75 kN (16,900 lbf) with afterburners. The engines feature several advances, including a non-polluting combustion chamber, single-crystal turbine blades, powder metallurgy disks, and technology to reduce radar and infrared signatures. The M88 enables the Rafale to supercruise while carrying four missiles and one drop tank.

The Rafale fighter jets are being produced for both the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations in the French Navy. It has been marketed for export to several countries and was selected for purchase by the Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force, and the Qatar Air Force.

The Rafale has been used in combat over Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.


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