A Rafale fighter jet | Photo: Jasper Juinen | Bloomberg
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New Delhi: Amid India’s ongoing border standoff with China, at least four Rafale fighter jets are now scheduled to land in Ambala on 27 July, and will be ready for combat earlier than expected as the French have diverted an initial lot of cutting edge missiles meant for its own air force to India, ThePrint has learnt.

“The date worked out between India and France is July 27 for the delivery of the aircraft. Four aircraft will come for sure while an attempt is being made to ensure that a total of six jets come,” said a source.

According to sources, the jets can be deployed for combat quicker than anticipated as France has diverted some of the game-changing missiles — Meteor and SCALP — meant for its own air force to the Rafale jets for India. Originally, this was supposed to happen months after the delivery of the fighter jets.

ThePrint had first reported on 20 March that the delivery of the Rafale fighter jets could get delayed from its original May date due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On 14 April, ThePrint reported that the delivery will take place only in July.


Also read: If you don’t shoot, you don’t escalate: NSAB chief explains how India, China have avoided war


Will fly via UAE, with two mid-air refuellers

According to the plan, the Rafale jets will take off from Istres in France and fly to the French airbase in Al Dhafra near Abu Dhabi in the UAE. After a night halt, the jets will fly to Ambala in Haryana, where the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ is based.

“The fighters will be flown by Indian pilots and will fly straight for 10 hours (Al Dhafra). It will have a halt for the night and next day fly to Ambala,” another source told ThePrint.

The initial plan was that the aircraft would arrive after layovers in multiple countries. However, the Covid pandemic meant that the pilots would have to undergo quarantine at each base, said the sources.

It has now been decided that two French Airbus mid-air refuellers will fly with the jets. There would be at least two rounds of mid-air refuelling on the way to UAE, the sources said.

Indian mid-air refuellers will take charge the next day for the journey to Ambala. Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots are now getting trained in France for refuelling. This was not part of the original training, said the sources.

France diverts missiles to IAF

The contract India and France signed in September 2016 had said the Rafale delivery would take place in May 2020, and the main weapons package would arrive in October, said the sources.

However, following a request, France has diverted the missiles made for its air force to India. These have started arriving already.

These missiles include the beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile, Meteor, which has the capability to hit targets over 120 km away, and the long range air-to-ground stand-off cruise missile, SCALP, which can strike targets 600 km away.

“This means that the Rafale could be combat-ready much earlier than expected. The Meteor and SCALP have already been integrated with the Rafales which are coming in,” another source said.

The integration of Meteor into the Rafale weapons system means an Indian Rafale would be able to shoot down an enemy aircraft over 100 km away without even crossing the Indian air space.

The 5.1-metre-long SCALP can be carried in either one missile or two missiles configuration on the Rafale. Its inclusion means Indian Rafales would not have to cross the Indian airspace to hit a target that is about 600 km in enemy territory.


Also read: Kargil hero Col Wangchuk says need strong political will to strengthen India’s borders


 

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13 Comments Share Your Views

13 COMMENTS

  1. India is playing into the hands of China by upping it’s Time anD Energy into disruptive strategies while a pandemic fire is continuing unabated elsewhere. CHINEESE wants to divert attention as well channelise prescious resources of India into a Combat Like situation to its own benefit. Art of War II the CHINEESE Bible for Combat written By Sun Tsu Which proposes that Offence is the best form of Defence.. Jets from France are not long term solutions in border disputes.. When will our False National Pride will cease to exist..

    • “If you want peace, prepare to war” – Julius Caesar
      And he was a better general than Sun Tzu. Actually, the one who is, even by now, considered the best general ever was Napoleon.
      It’s not about national pride, it’s all about strategy and making clear that attacks will end with a response coming with a price the enemy doesn’t wants to pay. As a combat aircraft, Rafale can reclaim such a price : it was conceived as a force multiplier in order to make France, despite not having the numbers the Soviet block could field, would end being able to defeat such a swarm attack! Actually, the French doctrine is very smth like : “Any way, we’ll end fighting alone, as usual” because history taught the French that Brits and Yankees are not reliable partners.
      Now in case you wouldn’t knew:
      – Rafale has an active stealth system+EW suite named SPECTRA which made US SAM teams nicknaming it “the Klyngon Vessel”, if you know about Star Trek, you get what it means : the Klyngons have a cloaking system making ’em impossible to detect when switched on. Plasma stealth is abut to be added with the F4 upgrade
      – Rafale has 2nd generation quantum well infrared photodetector making the “classic” stealth used by USA and China void
      – Rafale is the only jet-fighter able of 5-6 daily missions in normal use and 10-11 missions in intensive use. You’re happy when you manage to have a Flanker airborne thrice a day, and a F-35 or J-20 airborne every other day, most common is a mission every 3 days
      – Any 600m portion of straight road withstanding a 38t truck can be used as an airbase for Rafale. Rafale stays in the air at only 120km/h
      – Rafale can take 13G+ without any metal fatigue, the pilot is unlikely to withstand so much. It’s easy to see Rafale doing 10-11G manoeuvres during air-shows, you won’t spot anythng else doing more than 9G stuff. Actually, it can outmanoeuvre probably all missiles it can face.
      – Meteor re-locks on target if dodged, its no-escape zone is 150km, 150km is not the maximum range. This means that if you’re 150km from launcher, except ejecting from your aircraft… Meteor seeker will activate just before hitting and so will the RBE2/AESA painting of the target. The enemy won’t know being locked until it’s too late. In fact, I consider that custom racks for 5 Meteors should be considered : with CFT tanks, it’d allow Rafale to do 2500km CAP (combat air patrol) even w.o. mid-air refuelling while carrying 27 Meteors with 4 MICA-IR/NG, maybe even more. This would make any Rafale able to shoot down a full enemy squadron while a wing of two would be able to deal with a strike-pack of 3 squadrons.
      – TDA Telson ACŪLEŪS-LG is a 10km+ range 70mm rocket that can be carried into pods of 12, 16 or 22… With TER (triple racks) can easily carry up to 15 pods under such racks, and also two pods of 12 under the outer-wing pylons (usually used for 3rd and 4th MICA AAM). This means the ability to carry no less than 294 of such rockets for close air support purposes and 240 if a central fuel tank of 2000 or 3000L is used. I’d definitively order the conformal tanks Dassault proposes in order to free hardpoints.
      – MBDA Zuni-LG is available too. This laser-guided Zuni 127mm rocket is twice as much destructive as a Hellfire missile for the 3rd of the price. I’d highly consider making custom pods of 8 : the standard Zuni pod being only of 4. With pods of 8, this means up to 96x Zuni-LG + fuel tank or 120 w.o. fuel tank. No heavy MBT, even the T-14 Armata, the AMX-Leclerc or the M1 Abrams with the newest depleted uranium coating, can withstand a Zuni rocket hit. Same for the AGM-65 Maverick, but you can’t carry more than 12 of these.
      => While staying out of ManPADS and AA-guns range, Rafale can provide better close air support (CAS) than a A-10. Infamous ISIS preferred Yankee strikes : spotters could see A-10 coming, Rafale attacks were without early warning, and so would it be for a regular army, thanks to Rafale’s cloaking.
      – Rafale has enough range to launch cruise missiles on Beijing and come back w.o. mid air refuelling, and BTW, a Rafale can be used as a stealth refueller. This allows deep strikes into enemy territory. Note that China wasn’t furious about Japan and SoKo or Japan buying F-35 or India late participation in Su-57. Considering how their trolls and pseudo-experts lambast Rafale, they must really fear it. Hey, Rafale can overfly a S-300 battery without being detected at all, and S-400 is just a S-300 PMU-3 renamed for commercial purposes. Rafale can come enough close to S-400 to attack it with guided bombs w.o. being detected!
      => If you don’t channel enough precious resources in defending India, you end with 800 years of Mussie invasions slaughtering 270 millions Indians, some even estimate it was 400-450 millions. I have deep respect for Mahatma Ghandi for having booted the Brits the pacifist way, but after WW2, the UK was broke and not willing to fight to keep India and he also ended assassinated, just like all pacifist activists. therefore, I prefer the Theo Rosevelt way : speak softly but carry a big stick. Rafale is definitively a big stick and is not more expensive than HAL assembled Su-30MKI while way more capable despite its small size. Look, even if there are 250 Su-30, IAF still consider Mirage-2000 as its backbone and if it wasn’t for idiot politicians, they’d probably have 250 Mirage-2000 and 40 troublesome Su-30MKI. INAF wanted Rafale-M in 2001, they were imposed MiG-29K which is disastrous. Actually, IAF needs 14-15 Rafale squadrons, not two! And if you analyse it closely, having two assembly lines each building 18 Rafales a year would cost 5% of defense budget with 8-10 years of production. 5% of budget is not enormous for getting such an asset.
      Now I agree with one thing : 36 Rafales won’t be enough! In fact, why only ordering 36 while it won a competition for 126 units. in… 2012! Had the orders been taken immediately, there’d already about a hundred in Service rather having the two thirds of IAF being antiques!
      Same mess about Tejas : Dassault has proposed mods making Tejas the little brother of Rafale and better than Mirage-2000 in any aspects with an estimated price $21-22 millions cheaper than HAL wants for Tejas Mk1A which only has avionics upgrades!
      Are Indian politicians suicidal? China supports Porkistan which prays 5x a day for the slaughter of all Hindus because they are “kafir”
      Let me also remind you that the law says iAF must have 42-45 fighter squadrons. At the present day, it’s only 30 and as many don’t even have their full complement, it’s more the complement of 25 squadrons only…
      Maybe more national pride is needed, and the kinda pride that stops neglecting a major factor : You surely can’t win a war with aviation alone, but you CANNOT win a war without…
      Just go on as you say and in 5 years, Porkistan AF will be bigger than IAF, and as Coran says : test the kafir (infidel) on a regular basis, and as soon you see signs of weakness, attack with full might. Remember that Surat #9 makes clear that the goal is the extermination of all infidels and that casualties are no issues, actually, from a Coran POV, even if Porkistan is fully nuked, the extermination of Hindus worth the sacrifice.
      Sun Tzu also said you must know your enemy and know yourself. The victory can only be achieved if you know both. He also said that the best victory is the one you achieve without fighting and, actually, it’s EXACTLY what having Rafale and Tejas with the Dassault-proposed mods (instead of what HAL wants in order to pump maximum money from tax-payers) will achieve : making clear that starting a war on India would be futile.
      Therefore, as you can be sure, thanks to Islamic doctrine, that if you go on neglecting IAF as you do, Porkistan will soon up or later, do an all out attack (hey, they’re the only nuclear country enough insane to have started a war on another nuclear country!), be sure that the amount of destruction they will cause into India, you will curse the day you considered to not channelize the precious resources of India at an efficient defense : with an about $3000 billions GDP, the cost of 14-15 Rafale squadrons is a drop in an ocean while the destructions crazy Islamists with nukes would send India back to stone age!
      Now India can absolutely divert China’s attention and even make Beijing’s nightmare reality!
      Beijing’s nightmare is a nuclear armed Taiwan!
      Just propose Taiwan the sale of e.g. 18 or 24 BrahMos with nuclear warheads, then tell Taipei to NEITHER speak about the nukes nor about the price of the contract but have some TW journo have the information from a TW MoD official speaking on condition of anonymity revealing how much they paid, that further contracts will follow especially as they got a great price, and adding that now TW has what it takes to deter any PLA invasion attempt… As it’s about nuke missiles, the price per unit will be way more than a conventional BrahMos price, moreover, having anything related being classified, it’ll make implicit for China that India sold nukes to TW and may sell more…
      From there, you can start negotiating on equal grounds : if China wants India stop nuclearising TW, they’ll have to stop their little games and stop any military+political support to Porkistan…
      THAT is Sun-Tzu way!

    • So, Mr. couch commander: What would your wise ass do under current circumstances?
      Little that you know and understand state craft, you talk so big about art of war and so forth.
      There are so many of your make-up in India who are just big talks and roll over only.

  2. That is correct. But tiktok users and others dont undertsand and miss tiktok . Hikvision is Cctv from china . It is used evetywhere on delhi metro . Shoudl be replaced with indian

  3. CAN WE PLEASE CONTROL OUR MEDIA AS WHY IS SUCH CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION IS OUT AND MADE IN PUBLIC?
    1: NOBODY NEEDS TO KNOW WHEN IS IT COMING, IT SHOULD BE KEPT TOP SECRET
    2: NOBODY WANTS TO KNOW VIA WHICH ROUTE IT IS GETTING DELIVERED.
    3: NOBODY WANTS TO EVEN KNOW WHO WOULD BE FLYING IT BACK FROM UAE TO AMBALA
    4: WE DONT WANT TO KNOW THE DATE OF JETS ON WHEN WILL IT BE COMBAT READY
    5: IN FUTURE DO NOT MAKE IT PUBLIC ON S-400 MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEM, LIKE WHEN IS IT COMING OR WHETHER IT HAS COME OR NOT
    6: MY APPEAL TO WHOSOEVER IS IN CHARGE REGARDING PUBLISHING OF NEWS ON DEFENCE, THESE THINGS SHOULD BE KEPT TOP SECRET ESPECIALLY WHEN THINGS ARE NOT LOOKING GOOD AT A NATIONAL SECURITY LEVEL!

  4. Malnutrition can be arrested if we choice green vegetables after washing properly, which is cheap & affordable 2 all of us . Also in India lots of Ayurvedic plants r is very useful & availability is immense, to consum will cure anaemia also.

      • The Chinese are unlikely to come : they’re not enough crazy to start a direct war with another nuclear power. Muslim Pakis are, actually, they even already did it in Kargil : it’s not an issue in Islamic culture if Porkistan gets nuked as long as they exterminate all Hindus.
        China is more likely to use Porkistan as a useful idiot, thanks to state-sponsored religious fanaticism and jingoism. Porkistan might make 300,000 km² of India covered with fallouts and Porkistan would be too radioactive to live in, the disruption of Indian economy by EMP would surely induce a gigantic famine, then only China would invade, especially as all Indian nukes would have been launched on Porkistan.
        Note that Rafale is EMP-proof

    • Anemia is due to the fact most of Indians are vegan. Sorry if it hurts your feelings for cultural reason, but it’s a well known fact. Look at your teeth : the canine ones are here to eat meat. Humans are carnivore. Things won’t improve until you accept that nature didn’t made the humans for vegan regime.

    • You just woke up to malnutrition and anemia, and you found a topic that can
      convince everything else to be ignored. Your kind of talkers are well known
      and better dumped in the garbage.

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