Kushal Kumar Jha
Formal Rafale induction ceremony on September 10| French Defence Minister in Attendance
French Defence Minister Florence Parly is going to visit India on September 10 to attend IAF's Formal induction ceremony of Dassault Rafale fighter jets in Ambala Air Force Station. The 5 Rafale aircraft will get inducted into the 'Golden Arrows' Squadron of the Indian Air Force.
India received the first batch of 5 French Multirole Fighter aircraft back in July end. Delegations from the Defence manufacturing industry will accompany the French Defence Minister.
There is likely to be a meeting between Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and French Defence Minister Florence Parly. Speculations are made that India may give another order of 36 Rafale aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
Why India chose Rafale?
The Induction of the combat-proven French Multirole fighter aircraft is going to give a boost to the IAF. The weapons package and the India specific modifications in the Indian Rafale aircraft give these french fighters a superior edge in the whole South Asian subcontinent.
Meteor and Scalp missile with their range and payload capacity is a game-changer for the Indian Air Force. Meteor is a next-generation Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) designed by MBDA and has an operational range of over 100 KM. India has also given special orders for HAMMER Missile (Highly Agile and Manoeuvrable Munition Extended Range) capable of air to ground precision guided attacks. Scalp missile will provide deep strike capabilities to the Indian Air Force with its operational range of over 560 KM.
Back in 2016, the Government of India and the French government signed an agreement allowing India to buy the 4.5 generation 36 Rafale jets at a total cost of 59,000 crores.