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   ** CHANAKYA 52nd YEAR ** INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIAL ISSUE: 15 AUGUST 2021 ** MEDIA PARTNER IDEF 2021 TURKEY DEFENCE SHOW PREVIEW         INDIA’s Leading & Oldest DEFENCE & Aerospace Magazine - 52nd Year in Defence Publishing: 47th Year of Monthly Publication       

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Navantia S-81 Submarine Launch Ceremony

On 22nd April 2021, His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen, Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias and Her Royal Highness Infanta Sofia presided over the Launching Ceremony of S-81, the first Submarine of S-80 Class, in Navantia Shipyard in Cartagena (Murcia, Spain).

His Majesty King Felipe VI Presided the Navantia Launching Ceremony of the first S-80 Submarine for the Spanish Navy - the S-81 'Isaac Peral'
The S-81, which will be named 'Isaac Peral', is the first Submarine designed and built in Spain by
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IAF's Dassault Rafale Fighters

A third batch of three Rafale Fighter Jets landed in India on 27th January 2021 evening after flying non-stop from France, in a further boost to the strike capability of the Indian Air Force when India and China are engaged in a bitter border stand-off in Eastern Ladakh. With the arrival of the new batch, the number of the Rafale Fighters with the IAF in India has increased to 11.

Three More Rafale Jets Arrive in India from France
With the arrival of the new batch of 3 Rafales, the number of the Rafale Fighters with the IAF in I
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INTERVIEW: William L. Blair, Vice President & Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India

At Aero India 2021, Lockheed Martin presents the C-130J Super Hercules, of which IAF operates a fleet, with one of them achieving the daunting feat of landing at the world’s highest landing strip. The Lockheed Martin F-21 Fighter Jet, an equally impressive Multi-Mission Platform, for which Lockheed Martin offers future potential production in India in Partnership with Tata; and its’ Sikorsky Helicopters the MH-60R, S-92, CH-53K & S-76; the Javelin - the world’s most versatile Precision Weapon System, and the INDAGO Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).

“Committed to Strategic & Long-Term International Defence Partnerships”
The MH-60R Romeo SEAHAWK Helicopter is one of the world’s most advanced Maritime Helicopters for AS
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AIRBUS INDIA

Airbus with its long-standing relationship with the Indian Aerospace and Defence Sector, will have a significant presence at Aero India.

Transforming India’s Defence and Aerospace Capabilities
Transforming India’s Defence and Aerospace Capabilities: by Rémi Maillard, President & Manag
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DASSAULT SYSTEMES AT AERO INDIA 2021

Dassault Systemes stands committed to help the industry with advanced 3D design and engineering solutions powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.

Digitalization to Realize a thriving Aerospace, Defence and Space Ecosystem
As the leader in the sector for over three decades, Dassault Systèmes works with companies of every
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Aero India 2021

A unique flying display of HAL’s indigenous platforms (both Fixed and Rotary-Wing) aptly titled ‘Aatmanirbhar Formation Flight’ is part of the Flying Display during the 13th Edition of Aero India 2021 from February 3rd, 2021 at Air Force Station, Yelahanka.

HAL's ‘Aatmanirbhar Formation Flight’ At Aero India 2021
HAL showcases its prowess in Defence and Aerospace centered on the theme ‘Conceive. Indigenise. Col
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IAF's Dassault Rafale Fighters

With the Indian Air Force (IAF) reportedly scheduled to have 21 of the 36 contracted Rafale Fighters by April 2021, and 11 going to be inducted into the IAF soon, while 7 are currently being used for training IAF Pilots & Crew in France, India’s Air Superiority gets a boost. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had formally inducted the first five Rafale Fighter Aircraft into the IAF’s 17 Squadron, the 'Golden Arrows' at the Ambala Air Force Station in September.

With 21 Rafale Fighters By April, IAF to have 11 Rafales Soon, Boosting India’s Air Superiority
The 1st Batch of Fighter Jets had arrived in India from France on July 29th, and a Second Batch of
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Raytheon Technologies Corporation (RTX)

Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an Aerospace and Defence Company that provides Advanced Systems and Services for Commercial, Military and Government customers worldwide. With four Industry-Leading Businesses - Collins Aerospace Systems, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, and Raytheon Missiles & Defense - the company delivers solutions that push the boundaries in Avionics, Cyber Security, Directed Energy, Electric Propulsion, Hypersonics, and Quantum Physics.

Raytheon Technologies Corporation: Creates Future of Aerospace & Defence
The merger of Raytheon and United Technologies combined two companies with distinctive legacies in
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INTERVIEW: BORIS SOLOMIAC, GENERAL DELEGATE, MBDA INDIA

Chanakya features this Interview with BORIS SOLOMIAC, General Delegate, MBDA India, who articulates on MBDA’s Range of Missiles for the IAF’s Rafale Fighter; Brimstone Dual-Seeker Missile; MICA IR & RF Missiles for the Upgraded Mirage 2000s of the IAF; MANPADS Missile System offered for VSHORAD & Mistral ATAM for the ALH Rudra WSI & LCHs; ASRAAM for the Jaguar Fighter Upgrade, Naval Missiles and on L&T MBDA Missile Systems Joint Venture established in India.

“Highly Potent Set of Weapons from MBDA that are Unrivalled”
With above 90 Armed Forces customers in the world, MBDA is a World Leader in Missiles and Missile S
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DR. SUDHIR MISHRA, CEO & MD, BRAHMOS AEROSPACE

In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, DR. SUDHIR MISHRA, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace, said that they are developing "90-Degree Steep Dive & Surround Attack Capability," a "Carrier-Killer" Weapon. He articulated on the success achieved by various BRAHMOS Variants’ proven capabilities, including the Block-III LACM. On future plans, he elaborated on the Hypersonic BRAHMOS-II(K) Weapon with speeds between Mach 5-7 and the BRAHMOS NG Variant, on the BRAHMOS-A tests of the Airborne Cruise Missile for the IAF’s Su-30MKI Fighter, and on the BrahMos ‘Make-in-India’ initiatives.

“We have been Actively Pursuing the Hypersonic BRAHMOS-II(K)”
BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian Joint Venture is capable to fulfil any export requirements, if
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INTERVIEW: Emmanuel De Roquefeuil, VP & Country Director, Thales in India

Thales offices and sites are spread across several cities in India, having hundreds of employees working with Thales and its Joint Ventures in India. Thales has been playing an essential role in India’s growth story by sharing its technologies and expertise in Defence, Transport & Aerospace markets. Thales' strategy supports 'Make-in-India' Policy and aids the development of the Defence Industrial Base in the country, evident from it’s association with HAL, BEL, BDL, Samtel and L&T Technology Services.

“SPECTRA Electronic Warfare System Boosts Survivability”
EMMANUEL DE ROQUEFEUIL, VP & COUNTRY DIRECTOR, THALES in India, in this Interview to Chanakya, cove
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: R. MADHAVAN, CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR, HAL

 In an Exclusive Interview to Chanakya, R. MADHAVAN, Chairman & Managing Director, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Updates us on most projects that HAL is currently undertaking like LCA Tejas, Mirage 2000 Upgrade Project, Jaguar Darin-III Upgrade, HTT-40 BTA, IJT, LCH, LUH, Ka-226T, ALH Dhruv, etc.

“HAL is Geared Up to Take Production of 83 LCA Order”
One of the largest Aeronautics Companies in Asia, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is involved in m
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INTERVIEW: ANANDI RAMALINGAM, DIRECTOR MARKETING, BEL

Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) is the leading Defence Electronics Company in India with several Hi-Tech Capabilities including Missile Systems, Electronic Warfare Systems, Avionics Systems, Communication Systems, Electro-Optics Systems, Radars, C4I Systems/Solutions, Sonar, Gun Upgrades, Shelters, etc.

“Government Approved the Export of Indigenous Akash Missile System”
Chanakya Interviewed ANANDI RAMALINGAM, DIRECTOR MARKETING, BEL, on it’s Orders, New Products, Expo
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Safran Aircraft Engines

Safran Aircraft Engines is one of the world's leading Aircraft and Rocket Engine Manufacturers, Safran designs, develops, produces and sells, alone or in Partnership, Engines for Civil and Military Aircraft, Launch Vehicles and Satellites. Safran Aircraft Engines also power some 20 types of Military Aircraft in 30 countries.

Safran Military Engines M88
Safran Military Engines for Rafale & Mirage 2000 Fighters have become global benchmarks. Safran als
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THALES INDIA

Backed by its strong presence in diverse verticals like Defence, Aerospace, Transportation and Digital Identity and Security, Thales has been an unwavering partner to India's ambitious plans and growth storyby sharing its niche technologies and expertise.

Thales: A Steadfast Partner to India's Growth Story
As India marches towards its goal of 'Atmanirbharta' or Self-Reliance, it opens up immense opportun
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MBDA MISSILE SYSTEMS

MBDA is not new to Partnership with the Indian Armed Forces and Indian industry, indeed it has been delivering battle-winning capabilities to the Indian Air Force and collaborating with Indian industry for over 50 years.

MBDA Shows Make In India Commitments and Rafale Weaponry at Aero India 2021
MBDA, the maker of the Rafale's game-changing weaponry, is showcasing its Make in India commitments
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RAFAEL

Rafael is a world-leading Developer & Manufacturer of Advanced Weapon Systems, providing forefront Technological Solutions that address the Defensive and Offensive requirements of the Modern Battlefield. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been supporting the Indian Defence Forces with State-of-the-Art Systems, during which Rafael has stood by India to supply systems at short notice in operational contingencies, including Air-to-Air, Air Defence, ATGMs, Targeting & Reconnaissance Pods, SDR Communication, etc.

RAFAEL ADVANCED DEFENSE SYSTEMS
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. Designs, Develops, Manufactures and Supplies a wide range of H
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AERO INDIA 2021 AIR SHOW PREVIEW

Aero India 2021, the 13th International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition & Air Show, is being organised by the Ministry of Defence from 3rd to 5th February 2021 at the Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru, with above 540 Aerospace, Aviation & Defence companies/organisations showcasing their products, including Platforms, Weapons, Equipment & Systems, Components, etc. A Special Preview:

AERO INDIA 2021 AIR SHOW PREVIEW
Aero India 2021, the 13th International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition & Air Show, is being organ
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IDEX 2021 SHOW PREVIEW

Global Defence majors compete for deals worth Billions of Dollars at the Middle East’s largest Military Expo, the Tri-Services International Defence Exhibition and Conference - 15th IDEX 2021, which will be held from 21st to 25th February 2021 at Abu Dhabi, UAE. The event features above 1,300 companies including several world leaders.

IDEX 2021 TRI-SERVICES DEFENCE SHOW PREVIEW
Global Defence majors compete for deals worth Billions of Dollars at the Middle East’s largest Mili
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Indian Navy’s Vagir 5th Scorpene Submarine Launched at MDL

On November 12th 2020, INS Vagir was launched by Smt Vijaya Shripad Naik, wife of Shripad Naik, Raksha Rajya Mantri. INS Vagir is the fifth P-75 Scorpene Submarine entirely built by the Indian Shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL)

Launching of Vagir, the Fifth Indian Kalvari-Class Submarine with Scorpene Design, Entirely Made in India
Making its underwater defence stronger, Indian Navy launched the fifth Kalvari-Class Scorpene Subma
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NAVANTIA S-80 PLUS SUBMARINE

Spain’s Navantia Shipyard in Cartagena has successfully carried out the Power-Up activity tests on the S-81 "Isaac Peral" Submarine. The S-81 is the first of four S-80P Class Submarines under construction for the Spanish Navy by Navantia. This is a relevant safety-related commissioning milestone for Navantia prior to the Submarine’s delivery.

Navantia Passes the First Safety Milestone of the S-81 Submarine: The Power-Up
Spain’s Navantia Shipyard in Cartagena has successfully carried out the Power-Up activity tests on
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ADMIRAL KARAMBIR SINGH, CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF

ADMIRAL KARAMBIR SINGH, the 24th Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy says that the immediate focus would be to overcome critical deficient capabilities and concurrently adopt modern 'leap-frogging' technology to create capabilities for accomplishing a range of missions. For Navy Day 2020, Chanakya Interviewed ADMIRAL KARAMBIR SINGH, Chief of the Naval Staff, covering Indian Navy’s Modernisation & Expansion Plans, recent Inductions, Naval Acquisitions, including Aircraft Carriers, Surface Combatants, Gun Systems, Missiles, LPDs, FSS, Submarines, MRCBF Carrier-Borne Fighters, Naval Helicopters, RPAS, Aircraft, etc.

“Towards Force Level Augmentation, 43 Ships & Submarines are Under Construction”
For Navy Day 2020, Chanakya Interviewed ADMIRAL KARAMBIR SINGH, Chief of the Naval Staff, covering
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Five Rafale Fighters Induction in IAF

The first five Indian Air Force (IAF) 4.5-Generation Rafale Combat Aircraft have arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala. The aircraft got airborne from Dassault Aviation Facility, Mérignac, France on 27th July and reached India on 29th July afternoon with a planned stopover en-route at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE.

Five Rafale Fighters in IAF
The Rafale Fleet comprises of three Single-Seater and Two Twin-Seater Rafales. The delivery of 10 a
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Navantia S80 Plus Offered for Indian Navy’s P-75(I) Submarines Project

Amongst the five Global Defence Majors selected by the MoD Committee for the P-75(I) Submarines Project is Navantia of Spain. The two Indian Shipyards for the mega 'Make-in-India' Project are L&T Group and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDL). Navantia has recently organised more than 100 side meetings and submitted 380 RFIs specific to the P-75(I) Submarine cost items, and targets achieving 500 PTS and nearly 1,500 RFIs within the next 3-4 months.

Navantia S80 Plus Offered for Indian Navy’s P-75(I) Submarines
Navantia is participating in P-75(I) using the basis of the S80 Plus Submarine - the only 3,000 ton
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Indian Air Force Commanders’ Conference 2020: IAF in the Next Decade

The Air Force Commanders’ Conference (AFCC) was conducted from 22nd to 24th July 2020, at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan) New Delhi. The theme of the Conference was "IAF in the Next Decade". The AFCC was Chaired by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria.

IAF Commanders’ Conference 2020
The Air Force Commanders’ Conference (AFCC) was conducted from 22nd to 24th July 2020, at Air Headq
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Russia Visit

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed India-Russia Defence Cooperation with Yury Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister of Russian Federation in Moscow on 27th June. Mr Borisov is the Co-Chair of the Inter-Governmental Commission with India on Trade & Economic & Scientific Cooperation. He also Co-Chairs with the Raksha Mantri the High Level Committee on Science & Technology. Their discussions on bilateral cooperation and regional issues were very positive and productive.

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh Reviews India-Russia Defence Relations
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed India-Russia Defence Cooperation in Moscow. The discussions
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Ejection Seats & Pilot Safety

Collins Aerospace is part of Raytheon Technologies Corporation, which is a leading Aerospace & Defence Company that provides Advanced Systems and Services for Commercial, Military and Government customers worldwide. It comprises four industry-leading businesses - Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense. This feature on “Ejection Seats & Pilot Safety” is contributed by DON BORCHELT, Business Development Director, ACES II/5, Mission Systems, Collins Aerospace, highlights various aspects of Pilot Safety and new developments in Ejection Seats for New-Generation Combat Aircraft.

Ejection Seats & Pilot Safety
Collins Aerospace specialises in Aerostructures, Avionics, Interiors, Mechanical Systems, Mission S
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The Year of Heron TP

The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron TP is a Multi-Role, Most Advanced, Long-Range Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for Strategic Missions, equipped with Automatic Taxi Take-Off and Landing Systems (ATOL), Satellite Communication for Extended Range, fully redundant Avionics and much more. The IAI Heron TP UAS was designed as a Multi-Mission Platform to address customers' needs and to perform a variety of Strategic Missions, including Intelligence Gathering, Surveillance,

The Year of Heron TP
Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR), using various Payloads, with a high level of reliabi
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SINGAPORE AIR SHOW 2020 REPORT

The Singapore Air Show 2020 was held at Changi Exhibition Centre from 11th to 16th February 2020, with attendance from high-level Military Delegations including India’s Air Chief, Senior Government Officials and leading industry players, featured exhibitors from over 930 companies from above 45 countries. The Singapore Air Show had major participants in the Civil and Military Flying and Static Aircraft Displays that included: Airbus A400M, Dassault Aviation Falcon Business Jets, Embraer Profit-Hunter Commuter Jet, Gulfstream Aircraft, Textron Aviation Aircraft, RSAF Apache & Chinook, Super Puma, Lockheed Martin’s F-16D & F-22 with Sikorsky’s S-70B, Boeing’s F-15SG & P-8A Poseidon, Bell Boeing MV-22s, Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 UAS, IAI’s Heron TP UAS, Bell Helicopters, were on display.

SINGAPORE AIR SHOW 2020 REPORT
The Singapore Air Show 2020 was held at Changi Exhibition Centre from 11th to 16th February 2020, w
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First Indian Air Force Rafale Handed Over

On October 8th, Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, hosted the handover ceremony of the first Indian Air Force Rafale in Mérignac, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale Final Assembly Facility. The event was placed under the high patronage of Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence of India and Ms. Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces of France.

First Indian Air Force Rafale Handed Over
On October 8th, Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, hosted the h
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1st Rafale Handed Over by France: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says Induction Will Boost India's Air Dominance Exponentially

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the French-made Rafale Combat Jet will boost India's Air Dominance exponentially, as he was formally handed the delivery of the first of 36 Rafales in France. The induction of Rafale Fighter Jets into the Indian Air Force will give a boost to India's Air Dominance exponentially, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said at the Handing-Over Ceremony of the IAF's Rafale Fighter.

1st Rafale Handed Over by France: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says Induction Will Boost India's Air Dominance Exponentially
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the French-made Rafale Combat Jet will boost India's Air D
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Thales: A Proud Partner of the Indian Air Force by Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, VP & Country Director, Thales in India

Thales is proud that the IAF has been relying on its high-end Technology Solutions for Combat Aircraft, Air Defence Systems and Sensors, among others to achieve its big ambitions. The Upgrade of Mirage 2000 Fleet is one such example and so is the selection of the Rafale Omni-Role Combat Aircraft by the Indian Air Force.

Thales: A Proud Partner of the Indian Air Force by Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, VP & Country Director, Thales in India
Thales is proud that the IAF has been relying on its high-end Technology Solutions for Combat Aircr
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FUTURE OF COMBAT: SUPPORTING TOMORROW'S AIR WARRIORS By Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia

Today, more than 750 Rolls-Royce Engines of 10 engine types are powering aircraft of the Indian Military. Rolls-Royce Engines power a wide variety of aircraft in the inventory of the IAF - from Combat and Strike Aircraft (the Jaguar, powered by the Adour Mk811) to Trainers (Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer, powered by Adour Mk871) to Strategic Airlift Aircraft (C-130J Super Hercules, powered by AE 2100), and even VVIP and Surveillance Aircraft (ERJ145, powered by AE 3007).

FUTURE OF COMBAT: SUPPORTING TOMORROW'S AIR WARRIORS By Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia
Today, more than 750 Rolls-Royce Engines of 10 engine types are powering aircraft of the Indian Mil
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MBDA: A Strong Partner of Indian Air Force

With a strong reputation as a reliable Partner that has supported the Indian Air Force for over 50 years, European Missile company MBDA understands the importance of operational capability and sovereignty to the IAF. MBDA has set up an extensive network of business Partners throughout India. This extensive Indian Supply Chain supports its JV initiatives ready to fulfil ‘Make-in-India’ requirements through its JV with L&T to manufacture Missiles & Components in India. In addition, MBDA continues to work with Indian Public-Sector entities for local Production, Development and Partnership.

MBDA: A Strong Partner of Indian Air Force
With a strong reputation as a reliable Partner that has supported the Indian Air Force for over 50
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Launches Indian Navy's First New P-17A Stealth Frigate INS Nilgiri

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched INS Nilgiri, the first of the Navy's seven new P-17A Stealth Frigates at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Launches Indian Navy's First New P-17A Stealth Frigate INS Nilgiri
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 28th September launched INS Nilgiri, the first of the Navy's seve
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Witnesses Fire Power of Western Fleet, ‘Day at Sea’ Onboard INS Vikramaditya

During his stay on INS Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier, the biggest ship of the Indian Navy, Raksha Mantri witnessed a wide range of Naval Operations including Weapon Firing by the Fighter Aircraft and Night Flying Operations by helicopter from the deck of the Aircraft Carrier and Surface Shoots, Missile and Rocket Firings.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Witnesses Fire Power of Western Fleet, ‘Day at Sea’ Onboard INS Vikramaditya
During his stay on INS Vikramaditya, the biggest ship of the Indian Navy, Raksha Mantri witnessed a
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Commissions Indigenously-Built Scorpene Submarine INS Khanderi

On 28th September 2019, INS Khanderi, the second of P75 Scorpene-Class Submarines, was commissioned by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in presence of Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, CMD MDL Commodore Rakesh Anand (IN Retd.) and several other dignitaries. INS Khanderi is totally built by Indian Shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) through years of Technology Transfer and Partnership with the Naval Group,  in line with Indian Government’s ‘Make-in-India’ Policy.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Commissions Indigenously-Built Scorpene Submarine INS Khanderi
INS Khanderi, the second of P75 Scorpene-Class Submarines, was commissioned by Defence Minister Raj
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IAF & FAF Joint Ops at EXERCISE GARUDA-VI

Exercise Garuda 2019, a bilateral Indo-French Large Force Employment Warfare Exercise was hosted by the French Air Force (FAF) from 1st to 12th July 2019 at Mont-de-Marsan France, was successfully completed with the IAF Contingent landing back in India on 19th July 2019.

IAF & FAF Joint Ops at EXERCISE GARUDA-VI
Exercise Garuda 2019, a bilateral Indo-French Large Force Employment Warfare Exercise was hosted by
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20th Anniversary of Kargil Victory Day

The ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ celebrations were spread over three days from 25th to 27th July 2019 and were organised at Dras and New Delhi.

20th Anniversary of Kargil Victory Day
The ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ celebrations were spread over three days from 25th to 27th July 2019 and w
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Lockheed Martin & Tata Supplier Meet for F-21 Fighter & S-76D Helicopter

Lockheed Martin and Tata hosted a three-day Suppliers Conference in July in New Delhi, where about 30 of Lockheed Martin's Tier 1 Suppliers had the opportunity to meet with over 70 Indian Companies of all sizes to form relationships, assess capabilities, generate Partnerships and further enhance the Government of India's ‘Make-in-India' objectives. Lockheed Martin is looking to expand its Local Suppliers Base in India for their Global Supply Chain in order to fulfill the Offsets Obligations in India, and to increase Indigenous Content of their Offers to Indian Forces, while mainly promoting the new F-21 Fighter for the IAF’s MRFA competition, Sikorsky’s S-76D for the Indian Navy’s NUH, and the MH-60R for the MRH.

Lockheed Martin & Tata Supplier Meet for F-21 Fighter & S-76D Helicopter
Lockheed Martin and Tata hosted a three-day Suppliers Conference in July in New Delhi. Lockheed Mar
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Launch of Fourth Scorpene Class Submarine - VELA

Vela, the fourth Scorpene-Class Submarine being constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited for the Indian Navy, was launched on 6th May 2019, by Mrs Veena Ajay Kumar, wife of Dr. Ajay Kumar, Secretary Defence Production, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Vice Admiral A.K. Saxena, CWP&A was also present during the Launching Ceremony.

Launch of Fourth Scorpene Class Submarine - VELA
Vela, the fourth Scorpene-Class Submarine being constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited fo
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Visits Siachen, Reviews Security Situation at Highest Battlefield

In his first visit after taking charge, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Siachen Glacier to review the Security situation. The Raksha Mantri paid his tributes to the martyrs at the highest battlefield of the world and interacted with the Soldiers at the Forward Posts.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Visits Siachen, Reviews Security Situation at Highest Battlefield
In his first visit after taking charge, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Siachen Glacier
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Rolls-Royce in India: Partnering for Future Success by Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia

India is in the process of replacing 50 percent of its ageing Defence Equipment. It is expected to spend US$ 100-150 Billion on Defence Modernisation programmes by 2022. This presents a huge opportunity for Multinational Companies (MNCs) and Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to leverage India's fast-growing Aerospace and Defence Sectors.

Rolls-Royce in India: Partnering for Future Success by Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia
India is in the process of replacing 50 percent of its ageing Defence Equipment. It is expected to
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GENERAL ATOMICS - EMS Deepening Ties Via Strategic Initiatives

General Atomics (GA) and its affiliated companies now constitute one of the world's leading resources for High-Technology Systems ranging from Nuclear fuel cycle to Electromagnetic Systems, Remotely Operated Surveillance Aircraft, Airborne Sensors and Advanced Electronics, Wireless & Laser Technologies.

GENERAL ATOMICS - EMS Deepening Ties Via Strategic Initiatives
GA and its affiliated entities manufacture, operate and service state-of-the-art Unmanned Aerial Ve
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MBDA Offers Next-Generation Air Combat Capabilities for the Indian Air Force

MBDA is exhibiting a full range of Missiles and Missile Systems on Stand AB.2.23 designed to provide Next-Generation Air Combat Capabilities, including Air Dominance, Strike and Maritime Engagement, for the Indian Air Force.

MBDA Offers Next-Generation Air Combat Capabilities for the Indian Air Force
Aero India 2019 is the first Air Show where L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd, MBDA’s Joint Venture with
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Dassault Aviation Reaffirms Full Commitment to India & Launches New Rafale F4 Standard for France

Dassault Aviation has assured that it will ensure successful production in India through the Dassault Reliance Joint Venture in Nagpur as well as through a full-fledged Supply Chain Network involving already 30 companies with which Dassault Aviation signed contracts, and additional 60 companies currently under discussions.

Dassault Aviation Launches New Rafale F4 Standard for France
Dassault Aviation has received a Development Contract from the French DGA to Upgrade the Rafale Fig
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HENSOLDT Leads Sensor Solutions for Defence

HENSOLDT is a pioneer of Technology and Innovation in the field of Defence and Security Electronics. Based in Taufkirchen near Munich, HENSOLDT is one of the market leaders in the field of Civil and Military Sensor Solutions and develops new products based on innovative approaches for Data Management, Robotics and Cyber Security to combat a wide range of threats.

HENSOLDT Leads Sensor Solutions for Defence
HENSOLDT is a pioneer of Technology and Innovation in the field of Defence and Security Electronics
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Indian Army Artillery Inducts K9 Vajra’s & M777s

Marking a major milestone towards capacity building and capability enhancement of the Indian Army, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, dedicated the globally combat proven M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzers, K9 Vajra-Tracked Self-Propelled Guns and 6x6 Filed Artillery Tractors to the service of the Nation.

Indian Army Artillery Inducts K9 Vajra’s & M777s
Marking a major milestone towards capacity building and capability enhancement of the Indian Army,
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BRAHMOS: World' Best & Fastest Supersonic Precision Strike Weapon

BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian Joint Venture is now ready and capable to fulfil export requirements, if the Government decides, while serving the Indian Army, Indian Navy & Indian Air Force requirements, which should see larger numbers of Missiles ordered in the future.

BRAHMOS: World' Best & Fastest Supersonic Precision Strike Weapon
BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian Joint Venture is now ready and capable to fulfil export require
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B. S. DHANOA, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF

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News



Five Rafale Fighters in IAF

Five Rafale Fighters Induction in IAF


The first five Indian Air Force (IAF) 4.5-Generation Rafale Combat Aircraft have arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala. The aircraft got airborne from Dassault Aviation Facility, Mérignac, France on 27th July and reached India on 29th July afternoon with a planned stopover en-route at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE.


Five Rafale Fighters in IAF

The Rafale Fleet comprises of three Single-Seater and Two Twin-Seater Rafales. The delivery of 10 aircraft has been completed on schedule and five stayed back in France for Training Missions, with all 36 aircraft now scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021. An indepth update on the IAF’s Rafales.


INDUCTION OF RAFALE  IN IAF
The Rafale ferry from France to India was planned in two stages and was undertaken by IAF pilots. The five Rafale aircraft covered a distance of nearly 8,500 km. First stage of the flight covered a distance of 5,800 km in 7.5 hours. French Air Force (FAF) Airbus A330 MRTT Tanker provided dedicated Air-to-Air Refuelling Support. The second stage of the flight covering over 2,700 km was carried out with Air-to-Air Refuelling by an IAF IL-78 Tanker. IAF deeply appreciated the proactive support provided by the French Government and Industry in France to ensure timely delivery. The MRTT Tanker Support extended by French Air Force during the ferry was crucial in ensuring that the long haul flight was accomplished successfully and in a time bound manner.


The aircraft will be a part of 17 Squadron, the "Golden Arrows", which was resurrected on 10th September 2019. A formal Induction Ceremony of Rafale Aircraft in 17 Squadron is scheduled to be held in the second half of August 2020.


Rafales Arrive in India, Chief of the Air Staff ACM R.K.S. Bhadauria Welcomes Pilots
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command Air Marshal B. Suresh welcomed the pilots of the first five IAF Rafales, which arrived at Air Force Station Ambala on 29th July. The Five Rafale Fighters were flown by pilots of the 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ led by Commanding Officer Group Captain Harkirat Singh, along with other pilots, Wing Commanders M.K. Singh, R Kataria, Sidhu and Arun. A water cannon salute was given to the five Rafale Fighters soon after their landing at IAF Air Base in Ambala, Haryana. The aircraft touched down at Ambala at 3 pm.


The Indian Air Force would now focus on integrating the Rafale Fighters with the rest of the fleet, and operationalising them at the earliest, to enhance the Air Power Capability of the force multifold. In the meeting with the Rafale pilots, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria complimented them on their high level of professionalism as they have safely brought back these five aircraft to India within two days.


“Over 2,700 km of the 2nd stage was flown from Al Dhafra Air Base, Abu Dhabi to Ambala. On entering the Indian Airspace, the Rafales were given an aerial welcome by two IAF Su-30MKI aircraft. At AFS Ambala, they were accorded the traditional ‘Water Cannon Salute’,” the Indian Air Force tweeted.


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter to share a video of the landing and said that the “birds have landed safely in India. The touch down of Rafale Combat Aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History. These Multi-Role Aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the IAF” Rajnath Singh tweeted. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh again took to Twitter to congratulate the IAF and Dassault Aviation, and said that the IAF’s capability has gotten a “timely boost”.


The aircraft took-off in the morning from Al Dhafra after a brief delay and first contacted with an Indian Naval Warship INS Kolkata which is deployed in the Western Arabian Sea on a mission. INS Kolkata welcomed the Rafale Jets; Their interaction - INS Kolkata Delta63: Arrow leader (flying Rafale), welcome to Indian Ocean. Rafale leader: Many thanks. Most reassuring to have an Indian warship guarding seas. INS Kolkata: May you touch the sky with glory. Happy landings. Rafale leader: Wish you fair winds. Happy hunting. Over and out.


Five of the first batch out of 36 Rafale Fighters have now joined the Indian Air Force (IAF), providing it much-needed Air Power amid the depleting Fighter Fleet strength. The first batch of five Rafale Fighters will be soon inducted into the IAF at the Air Force Station in Ambala. The final Induction Ceremony will take place in the second half of August 2020.
“IAF aircrew and ground crew have undergone comprehensive training on the aircraft, including its highly advanced Weapons Systems and are fully operational now,” the IAF recently said. Post arrival, efforts will focus on operationalisation of the aircraft at the earliest. The Rafale Fighters will be armed with Beyond Visual Range Missiles like Meteor, SCALP and MICA, increasing their ability to take on incoming targets from a distance.


The Rafale Fighters would be a major Force Multiplier. The IAF will have Air Superiority in the sky when the Rafale Fighter aircraft comes to the theatre. Of the two Rafale Squadrons, one will be based at the Ambala Air Force Station for North and the other at Hashimara, will be dedicated for the North-East Borders.


The ‘Golden Arrows’ 17 Squadron, which operated from the Bhatinda Air Base, was disbanded in 2016 after the IAF started gradual phasing out of Russian-origin MiG-21 Jets. It was formed in 1951 and initially flew de Havilland Vampire FMk52 Fighters. The Golden Arrows has been resurrected and will be the first Unit to fly the Multi-Role Fighters. The IAF can deploy its Rafales in the Ladakh Sector as part of India’s overarching plan to strengthen its military posture in the region, where Indian and Chinese Forces are locked in a tense border confrontation and disengagement for status quo ante has turned out to be a very challenging process.


The ‘India-Specific Enhancements’ on the Rafales include cold engine start capability to operate from high-altitude bases like Leh. Acting on a special request by the IAF, France has accelerated the deliveries of Rafales to India and five jets have come instead of four that were planned to be delivered in the first batch.


The possible deployment of Rafale Fighters in Eastern Ladakh was discussed at the IAF Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi from July 22nd to 24th, where the Air Force top brass focused on the ongoing border stand-off with China, especially the IAF’s preparedness and new purchases that have to be made fast.


According to the original delivery schedule, the first 18 Rafales (including the five in the first batch) were to be delivered to the IAF by February 2021, with the rest expected by April 2022. Future deliveries will also be expedited earlier now. France handed over to India its first Rafale Fighter during a ceremony attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his French counterpart, Florence Parly, in Mérignac on October 8th 2019.


2 Single-Seater & 3 Twin-Seater Rafales Take-Off from Dassault Aviation Mérignac Facility
On 27th July 2020, the first batch of five Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafales took-off from the Dassault Aviation Facility at Mérignac, France, in the morning. These five include three Single-Seater and two Twin-Seater Fighters. The ferry of these latest Combat Aircraft was planned in two stages and was undertaken by the pilots of the IAF, who have undergone comprehensive training on the aircraft. The Air-to-Air Refuelling during the first leg of the ferry was also undertaken by these pilots with dedicated Tanker Support from the French Air Force. The aircraft arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala, where No. 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows” at this Air Base is being equipped with the Rafale Fighters.


The Rafale Fighter Trainers will have the tail numbers of the RB Series in honour of the IAF Chief ACM R.K.S. Bhadauria who played a pivotal role in finalising India's largest-ever defence deal for 36 Rafale Combat Aircraft. Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria was the Deputy Chief of Air Staff at that time and headed the Indian Negotiation Team for the deal which is the biggest ever in monetary terms in India.


First Ferry of IAF Rafales to Ambala AFS to Integrate Into 17 Squadron “Golden Arrows”
After a complete training of Indian pilots and technicians by Dassault Aviation, with the French Air Force participation, the Indian Air Force performed this first ferry, including an Air-to-Air Refueling, with the dedicated support of the French Air Force.


Together with Jawed Ashraf, Ambassador of the Republic of India in France, Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO, congratulated the Indian Air Force Team present in France since almost 3 years, for successful management of the programme. He also complimented the trainees who joined for more than a year on their outstanding ability to master the aircraft. All attendees then saluted the departure of the Rafales to India.


“I am strongly impressed by the amazing efficiency and determination of the Indian Air Force and Indian Ministry of Defence, despite this unprecedented world health crisis, to master rapidly all aspects of the Rafale for comforting Indian sovereignty and contributing to the protection and security of Indian people, stated Eric Trappier. This new milestone illustrates once again the exemplary cooperation between Dassault Aviation and the Indian Air Force, started in 1953, and reasserts our total commitment to fulfill Indian Air Force requirements for the decades to come, and to be part of India’s ambitious vision for the future”.


This first ferry testifies that the programme is running smoothly and that deliveries are on time in spite of COVID-19 pandemic. It initiates the induction of the Rafales in the IAF, in the frame of the contract of 36 fighters, and paves the way to fulfill the present and future needs and requirements of the Government.


Dassault Aviation aircraft have been an integral part of Indian Defence Forces for over six decades. The first Dassault Aviation aircraft, Toofani was supplied to India in 1953, followed by the Mystere IV, the Naval Alize, the Jaguar (manufactured under license by HAL), and the Mirage 2000 Fighter. These aircraft have contributed to Indian sovereignty all along and the Mirage 2000 Fighter Aircraft continues to be the IAF’s ‘cutting-edge’ till date. 36 Rafale Fighter Aircraft have been acquired on September 23rd 2016 to equip the Indian Air Force.

Pilots Fully Operational On Rafales
The Indian Air Force aircrew and ground crew have undergone comprehensive training on the aircraft, including its highly Advanced Weapons Systems and are fully operational now, the IAF recently said in a statement. It is the first time when the IAF has declared the operational status of its pilots and crews. With a war-like mobilisation between Indian and Chinese Ground Forces in Eastern Ladakh leading to a tense stand-off since early May 2020, the release seems to be an Air Power message that India has passed on to the Chinese that the Rafales are ‘combat-ready’.


The IAF’s statement further added, “Post arrival, efforts will focus on operationalisation of the aircraft at the earliest.” There is a huge amount of interest generated on whether these ‘Game Changer’ Multi-Role Fighters will be deployed against China in the Ladakh theatre, the IAF is eager to dispel any doubts that there will be no delays in completing all logistical and tactical procedures. The IAF Rafale Fleet’s Weaponry has already arrived ahead of the jets, with MBDA SCALP, Meteor and MICA Missiles already in special storage.


The five Rafales will be flying some Tactical Missions from Ambala soon, though a formal induction ceremony into the Golden Arrows 17 Squadron will be held later. The Fighters will make their public debut at the October 8th Air Force Day Flypast.


With the arrival and operationalisation of the Rafales, French efforts to supply more Rafales are expected to gather momentum. France has been hoping to get India to commit to 36 more Rafales since 2018. The acquisition of at least two more Rafale Squadrons is reportedly on the cards, considering India has already committed to the considerable costs of ‘India-Specific Enhancements’ and logistics for the French Fighters at Ambala and Hasimara Bases.


IAF to Induct Dassault Aviation Rafales Soon, First Mission Could be in Ladakh
Indian Air Force has now confirmed that the first batch of five Rafale Fighter Jets will be inducted into the IAF soon. After taking-off from France and a night halt, the jets flew to Ambala. The Fighters flown by Indian pilots to Al Dhafra Air Base in UAE, halted for the night and flew next day into Ambala. IAF pilots got trained in re-fuelling in France. French Airbus MRTT Mid-Air Re-fueller flew with the fighters. The IAF’s Russian IL-78 Mid-Air Refueller took charge the next day for the journey to Ambala. Reports suggest that the Rafale Jets are likely to be deployed in the Eastern Ladakh Sector on Defacto Border with China in view of the border row with the PLA.


The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had received the first of 36 Rafale Fighter Jets in France and flew a sortie in the MMRCA Fighter from the French Air Base to gain first-hand experience of the aircraft. The Rafale was handed over to Rajnath Singh on the foundation day of the Indian Air Force. The first Rafale bears a tail number ‘RB 001', where 'RB' stands for Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria, who played an important role in negotiations for procuring 36 Rafale Fighters in the flyaway condition.


The Stealthy Rafale, an Air-Dominance Fighter manufactured by French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation, which also supplied the Mirage 2000s, is a Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) that will boost India’s Air Superiority exponentially, currently safeguarded by Fighter Jets like Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKIs and MiG-29s, along with French Mirage 2000s, Jaguars and the indigenously built HAL’s Tejas LCAs. Rafale is a French word meaning "gust of wind" and is a French-origin Delta-Winged, Twin-Engine ‘Omni-Role’ Fighter Aircraft.


After final induction at the Air Force Station in Ambala, the Rafale Squadron’s first Air Patrol Mission could very well be in the Eastern Ladakh Sector, where the Indian Air Force (IAF) is conducting Combat Air Patrols (CAP) to provide back-up to the Indian Army and ITBP Soldiers on ground engaged in the tense stand-off with China.


As per the contract signed in September 2016, 12 aircraft are supposed to be delivered yearly from September 2019 onwards. French Defence Major Dassault Aviation, has since October 2019 handed over to the IAF a total of nine Rafale Aircraft. The 10th Fighter handed over is undergoing acceptance trials by IAF pilots in France. The Rafale Fleet has Twin-Seater Fighter Trainers and Single-Seater Fighters. Once inducted, the Rafale with its cutting-edge missiles will be the most modern and deadly fighter in this region. The target is to ensure that the Rafale is immediately operationalised, as the IAF is already mission deployed in wake of the tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The Omni-Role Combat Aircraft is not only a big boost to the IAF’s Firepower Capability, but also a big morale booster to the Defence Forces.


Rafale Stand-Off Weapons Package
The main Weapons Suite was supposedly to arrive in October. However, following a request, France has reportedly diverted the missiles made for its own Air Force to India. These had started arriving earlier. The MBDA Missiles include the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), Meteor, which has the capability to hit targets over 120-150 km away, and the Long-Range Air-to-Ground Stand-Off Cruise Missile, SCALP, which can strike targets even 400-600 km away. The Rafale is also capable to be armed with MBDA’s AM39 EXOCET Anti-Ship Missile and with Safran’s Laser-Guided Bombs/PGMs with different warheads sizes from 500lbs to 2,000 lbs, classic bombs non-guided and the 2,500 rounds/minute NEXTER 30M791 30mm Internal Cannon.


The Rafales meant for India are one of the most potent jets that have been made since it will have 14 ‘India Specific Enhancements, including Israeli Helmet-Mounted Displays, Radar Warning Receivers, Low-Band Jammers, 10-hour Flight Data Recording, Infra-Red Search and Tracking Systems, Towed Decoy Systems to lure incoming missiles away, among others.


Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is designed to carry out Air Dominance, Aerial Reconnaissance, Ground Support, In-Depth Strike, Anti-Ship Strike and Nuclear Deterrence Missions. The jets are referred to as an “Omni-Role” Combat Aircraft by Dassault Aviation. With its 10-tonne empty weight, the Rafale is fitted with 14 hardpoints and five of these are capable of drop tanks (external fuel) and heavy ordnance. The total external load capacity is more than 9.5 tonnes, which means the Rafale can lift the equivalent of its own empty weight in payloads.


Weapons Onboard: The biggest advantage of Rafale is that it is capable of delivering nuclear weapons. While India has not bought the nuclear warhead delivery missile, reports suggest integration into the Indian System will not be an issue as and when India decides to. The Mirage 2000s, currently, are the designated aircraft for nuclear weapons delivery.


The Game-Changing Missile onboard the Rafale is the Meteor. Manufactured by European leader MBDA, the Meteor is a very Long-Range Rocket and Ram-Jet powered Air-to-Air Missile. Its integration into the Rafale Weapon System brings about a paradigm shift in Air-to-Air Combat since it has a range of over 120 km. It means an Indian Rafale Fighter will be able to shoot down an enemy aircraft over 100 km away without even crossing the Indian Air Space. There is a “no escape zone” when a pilot looks at his radar and pulls the kill switch. There is no Air-to-Air Missile that can match the Meteor BVRAAMs, at the moment.


Another key missile that is onboard the Rafale is the SCALP Long-Range Air-to-Ground Stand-Off Cruise Missile. Weighing 1,300 kg, the 5.1 metre-long SCALP can be carried in either one missile or two missiles configuration on the Rafale Fighter. The SCALP has a maximum 600-km range and is known for its Precision Strike. The Rafale will not have to cross the Indian Airspace to hit a target that is upto 600 km in enemy territory. It is an Extended Range Strategic Weapon that can be used in penetration, impact or airburst modes. It can even strike deep even in anti-access and area denial scenarios.


The Rafale is also equipped with the MICA Air-to-Air Missiles. The IAF plans to further integrate the BrahMos NG Missiles with the Rafale when it is finally made by the Indo-Russian Joint Venture - BrahMos Aerospace. The Indian Rafale comes with an Israeli Rafael’s Litening Pod for Sensor Commonality across platforms in the Indian inventory. The Thales TALIOS Laser Designator Pod is the one the French use, with the Safran’s AASM HAMMER Air-to-Surface Munitions. The Indian Rafale would also be integrated with the Rafael SPICE Guidance kits. Now the IAF is reportedly ordering the Safran Electronics & Defense AASM Hammer 1000, and there is interest for the Thales TALIOS as well.


Radars and Sensors: The Rafale comes with the Thales RBE2 AESA Active Electronically Scanned Radar that, when compared to radars with conventional antennas, gives unprecedented levels of situational awareness with earlier detection and tracking of multiple targets. Rafale also has the ‘Front Sector Optronics’ (FSO) System which is immune to Radar Jamming, while operating in the Optronics Wavelengths. It also comes with the Spectra - Integrated Electronic Warfare Suite that provides long-range detection, identification and localisation of Infrared, Electromagnetic and Laser threats, incorporating Radar, Laser and Missile Warning Receivers for threat detection plus a Phased Array Radar Jammer and a Decoy Dispenser for threat countering. MBDA too has a role in developing the system with Defence Contractor Thales.


India's 4.5-Gen. Rafale Fighters - Armed with ‘Game-Changing’ Weapons from MBDA
India's Dassault Aviation Rafale Combat Aircraft will provide the Indian Air Force not just with a fast and agile modern fighter, but one that comes armed with a highly potent set of weapons from MBDA that are unrivalled by any of India's neighbours.


Meteor: The most famous of these weapons is the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), which is widely recognised as a ‘Game Changer’ for Air Combat. The Meteor is powered by a unique Rocket-Ramjet Motor that gives Meteor far more engine power, for much longer than any other missile. This means it can fly faster, fly longer, and manoeuvre more than any other missile - giving Meteor the ability to chase down and destroy agile hostile fighters at even the furtherest of ranges. As a result, Meteor has a ‘no-escape zone’ many times greater than any other Air-to-Air Missile.


SCALP: India's Rafales will also be equipped with the SCALP Deep-Strike Cruise Missile from MBDA. This Stealthy Weapon has proven repeatedly in combat its unerring ability to strike hardened and protected targets deep inside hostile territory - without the need for the Rafale to enter hostile airspace. SCALP's operational effectiveness is the result of three key factors: its high survivability thanks to its long stand-off range, low observability and sophisticated Mission Planning System; its pinpoint terminal accuracy through its highly accurate Seeker and Target Recognition System; and its terminal effectiveness provided by its powerful tandem warhead and multiple detonation modes.


MICA: The IAF's Rafales will also be equipped with the MBDA MICA, a missile the Indian Air Force knows very well as it is also part of the Upgrade Package for the IAF's Mirage 2000 aircraft. MICA is the only missile in the world featuring two Interoperable Seekers (Active Radar and Imaging Infrared) to cover the spectrum from Close-in Dogfight to Long Beyond Visual Range. Its ability to fly out to BVR in passive mode before the seeker locks on in the final stages of the end game has earned it the nickname "Silent Killer" as the target has little time to react or to deploy effective countermeasures.


When asked to elaborate on the Combat Missions that the Rafale will be able to achieve, with its Weapon Package integrated on the aircraft, the MBDA spokesperson said, “The MBDA Weapon Suite on India’s Rafales will enable them to dominate airspace with Meteor and MICA providing the ability to engage all air targets with a very high kill probability from the longest of Beyond Visual Ranges to close within visual range combat. SCALP can be used to perform Deep Strike Missions against even the best protected of targets at stand-off ranges with high-survivability for both the aircraft and missiles.”


Commenting on the status of the future MICA NG, he said, “MICA is the only Missile in the world featuring two Interoperable Seekers (Active Radar and Imaging Infrared) to cover the spectrum from Close-In Dogfight to Beyond Visual Range. In November 2019, a programme was launched to develop the Next- Generation of MICA, to include new Seekers and a new Propulsion System.” On the enhancements in the New-Generation Missiles, such as MICA & Meteor, over the older missiles like the 550 Magic and Super 530D, he said, “The MICA Missile combines the IR-Guided Dogfighting role of the 550 Magic with the Active RF-Guided Beyond Visual Range role of the Super 530D into a single Missile, with modern technologies that allow it to outperform either of the previous missiles in their specialist roles. The Meteor Missile marks a further revolution in Beyond Visual Range Air Combat, with its Ramjet Propulsion System providing sustained power for the duration of the engagement - allowing it to chase down manoeuvring targets at even the furthest of ranges.”


Advantage Rafale: 36 More Likely?
There has been speculation for a while that India will be buying at least 36 more Rafales once the earlier ordered jets begin getting inducted into the IAF. There is a thinking in the Government that 36 more Rafales, along with the 83 LCA 1A and Mark-II Versions equipped with modern and Long-Range Missiles and Systems will help in shoring up the IAF’s strength of Fighter Squadrons, which should ideally be above 42 Squadrons, from the current 30 Squadrons Fighter Fleet.


Incidentally, General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) had touched upon the Rafale during his interaction with the Media earlier this year. “Why do you think only 36 Rafales were bought,” General Rawat had said, explaining why according to him it makes sense to buy in a staggered manner as it would reduce the cost and also staggered servicing. On whether this meant that more Rafales could be bought, the CDS had said everything depended on what the IAF’s requirements are.


It is expected that additional Rafales would be cheaper than the ones ordered in 2016. This is primarily because a large component of the Euro 1,700 Million paid for India-Specific Enhancements will come down as the majority of the cost was for Research and Development, Modification and Certification. Further, the cost of setting up base and training will also come down. India had paid for setting up two Air Bases for just 36 aircraft. These Air Bases can easily accommodate more Fighter Aircraft.


India Seeks 'Urgent Delivery' of Safran's HAMMER PGMs to Boost Rafale Firepower
Amid ongoing tension with China, the Modi Government has reportedly used "emergency powers" to allow the IAF to procure the HAMMER Missiles/PGMs from Safran of France. The PGMs will be used to further boost the capabilities of Rafale Fighters. The All-Weather HAMMERs would give IAF the capability to take out any bunkers or hardened shelters in any type of terrain, including the mountainous locations such as Eastern Ladakh.


An agency report stated that in view of the "urgent requirement" for these Missiles by the Indian Air Force, the French Authorities would be "delivering the systems to India from the existing stock meant for some other customer". The IAF had planned for integrating the Rafael SPICE Air-to-Ground Attack PGMs, but as that would take some time to integrate, the Rafale AASMs are already integrated on to the Rafales, making them ‘Combat-Ready’.


Safran’s HAMMER (Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range) is a Medium-Range Air-to-Ground Weapon designed and manufactured for the French Air Force and Navy initially. It has the capability to take out any types of targets at the range of upto 60-70 km. The new Rafale Fighters, which already have a deadly Weapons Package will be equipped with the AASM HAMMER 1000 Air-to-Ground Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs).


The order for the PGMs with the capability to take out any type of target at the range of around 20 to 70 kms is reportedly being processed under the emergency powers of acquisition given to the Armed Forces. The order for the HAMMER is being processed on fast-track and the French Authorities have reportedly agreed to supply them to India at the shortest notice.


HAMMER or the Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range is a Medium-Range Air-to-Ground Weapon. The 20-70 km range AASM HAMMERs are designed to destroy bunkers, hardened shelters and other targets in all terrains, including mountains. The HAMMERs are similar to the Israel-origin Rafael SPICE Precision Guided Bombs, which were used by the Indian Mirage 2000 Fighters during the Balakot Air Strikes in February last year. A Rafale Fighter can carry up to six HAMMERs to hit as many targets simultaneously.