- By deploying here, fast action will be taken against Pakistan on the western border, interestingly, Ambala airbase is also 200 km from the border of China.
- The Mirage 2000 halted several places when it came to India, but Rafael would land directly at the Ambala airbase after a stop
Jul 01, 2020, 05:53 AM IST
new Delhi. India is scheduled to receive 6 Rafale fighter jets from France by 27 July. These fighter jets will be deployed at Ambala airbase. India will buy 36 fighter jets from Dassau Aviation, the French company that makes Rafale. All these fighter jets are expected to be available by 2022.
Rafael was also very important to us amidst the ongoing tension with China over LAC. The Indian Air Force has also previously purchased fighter jets from countries such as France, Russia and Britain. All the fighter jets we have bought from France are of Dasha Aviation.
Between 1953 and 1965, 104 MD 450 Oragen (in India it is called Hurricane) was purchased. Between 1957 and 1973, 110 MD 454 Mistere-5 was purchased. The Mirage 2000 was purchased in 1985. We have also used Miraj in the Battle of Kargil and Balakot Airstrike.
How much will India's strength increase after the launch of Rafale fighter jet? How powerful will it be compared to Chinese aircraft? To understand all this, read the Expeller of retired Air Marshal Anil Chopra …
Indian pilot Rafael will reach India
Rafael will be the only Indian Air Force fighter pilot to reach India from France. Before coming to India, the pilots would practice flying by flying in France itself. Indian pilots can fly from France's Bordeaux Merignac Airfield on 25 July. The 6 aircraft will be divided into groups of three aircraft each. These aircraft will be accompanied by transport aircraft such as the C-70 or IL-76. These aircraft will bring engineers, technicians and spare parts.
This requires a larger aircraft, as there will also be a spare engine with a special loading trolley. At this time, Rafael will be unarmed, so external fuel tanks will also be needed. There will be only one stop between coming to India from France. First, the French Air Force will allow fuel filling. After flying for about 4 hours, it will have to be stopped for refueling and for the comfort of the pilot. The Mirage 2000 came to a halt when it came to India, but Rafael would land directly at the Ambala airbase after a stop.
Rafale pilots have been in France Training of
Indian Air Force pilots were trained at France's Mont-de-Marsan airbase to fly Rafale. Mirage 2000 training was also done here. Not only Indian Air Force pilots but also engineers and technicians have been trained. These people will come to India and train other colleagues.
The 17th Squadron will be the first squadron of the Golden Arrows Raphael. The special thing is that former Air Chief BS Dhanoa commanded this squadron during the Kargil War. Pilots brought from overseas will be stationed in this squadron. A year later, when Rafale's second squadron is ready in Hashmira, the group of pilots will be split there.
MiG-21 and Jaguar were also stationed in Ambala.
Initially fighter jets like Jaguar and MiG-21 Bison were also deployed at Ambala airbase itself. This airbase is 200 km from India's western border and is also close to the Sargodha airbase of Pakistan. Deployment here will enable fast action against Pakistan on the western border. Interestingly, Ambala airbase is also 200 km from the border of China. China's Ngari Gar Gunsa airbase is in front of Leh, 300 km from Ambala airbase.
Infrastructure has also been prepared here for the deployment of Rafale. Technical infrastructure including special blast pens, avionics and electronics warfare systems labs, weapon preparation areas have been prepared or redeveloped. However, more features may be needed to test the engine. Later a similar infrastructure will also be built in Hashimara.
The quickest aircraft that can even carry out a nuclear attack
Rafael DH (two-seater) and Rafael EH (single-seater), both twin engines, are fourth-generation aircraft with delta-wing, semi-stealth capabilities. This is not only an agile aircraft, but it can also lead to a nuclear attack.
This fighter jet is designed with radar cross-section and infra-red signature. It has a glass cockpit. There is also a computer system, which helps the pilot to command and control. It has a powerful M88 engine. Rafael also has an Advanced Avionics Suite. The cost of radar, electronic communication systems and self-protection equipment is 30% of the total cost of the entire aircraft.
The jet is equipped with RBE2AA Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, which helps in identifying low-observation targets. It also has a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), which cannot easily jam. Whereas, the spectra applied to it can also detect long range targets.
Apart from all this, the radar warning receiver, laser warning and missile approach warning alert in it in the event of any danger is threatened and prevents the radar from jamming. Apart from this, Rafale's radar system also detects targets within a radius of 100 km.
Rafale also has modern weapons. For example, it has a 30 mm canon with 125 rounds. It can carry 9 and a half thousand kilograms of goods at a time. It has air-to-air missiles like Magic II, MBDA Mica IR or EM and MBDA Meteor. These missiles can hit targets up to 150 km in the air.
It also has the power to hit the ground by air. It has a range of 560 km. The aircraft has been used in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali and Syria. With the arrival of this fighter jet, India's strength will also increase in the Indian Ocean.
China has no fighter to compete with Rafael
China currently owns the Chengdu J-10 aircraft, a modified version of Israel's Lavi aircraft. This Chinese aircraft is equivalent to the US F-16A / B. China has 400 such aircraft. The aircraft has PL-12 BVR missiles with a range of up to 100 km. Apart from this, China also has Shenyang J-11, which is a copy of Sukhoi 27. It has PL-12 missiles. It is like the Sukhoi 30 MKI that India has.
In addition, China has also built a Shenyang J-16 fighter jet, a modified version of Russia's Sukhoi 30 MKK. China has 130 such fighter jets. The aircraft can also deploy PL 15 missiles with a range of up to 150 km. China also has a Sukhoi 30 MKK, similar to the Sukhoi-30 MKI that the Indian Air Force has. China also has Sukhoi 35, which is an advanced variant compared to Sukhoi 30 MKK. Apart from all this, China also has a 5th generation J-20 fighter jet. Which is not operational yet.
Whereas, the Indian Air Force has a great combination of Rafale, Sukhoi 30 MKI, Mirage 2000 and MiG 29. Apart from this, there are Jaguar, MiG 21 Bison and Swadesh LCA MK1. China does not have any fighter aircraft to counter the Rafale that India is going to get.
At the same time, Pakistan has the best fighter jet F-16 Block 52, which has a missile range of 120 km. Overall, the Indian Air Force has better fighter jets than Pakistan and China.
Rafale, equipped with modern weapons, is the best fighter aircraft, with the capability to conduct ground attacks, anti-ship strikes and nuclear attacks. The Dassau-made fighter jet is an omnirole aircraft. It has AESA radar, IRST, avionics fused data, stealth features, spectra protection suite. The most important thing is that arms can be placed on both sides of it. We will have 36 Rafale aircraft. However, so many aircraft do not even make two squadrons. India too has done so before and has subsequently ordered 36 aircraft.
(Air Marshal Anil Chopra, retired fighter pilot, retired as Air Officer Incharge Personal in 2012.)