RAFALE AIRCRAFT

Context: Rafale aircraft formally inducted into Indian Air Force in the presence of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and Ms Florence Parly, Ministere of Armed Forces of France;

The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base.

  • The fully versatile Rafale is able to carry out all combat aviation missions: air superiority and air defense, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
  • The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006. With more than 30,000 flight hours in operations, it has proven its worth in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.
  • The Rafale was ordered by Egypt, Qatar and India.

Military aviation is undoubtedly the most strategic weapon today, both in terms of combat effectiveness and of critical technologies implemented.

The Rafale, with its “Omnirole” capabilities, is the right answer to the capability approach selected by an increasing number of governments.

The Rafale participates in permanent “Quick Reaction Alert” (QRA) / air-defense / air sovereignty missions, power projection and deployments for external missions, deep strike missions, air support for ground forces, reconnaissance missions, pilot training sorties and nuclear deterrence duties.

Omni role
The new aircraft would have to be able to carry out a very wide range of missions:

  • Air-defense / air-superiority,
  • Anti-Access/Aera Denial,
  • Reconnaissance,
  • Close air support,
  • Dynamic Targeting,
  • Air-to-ground precision strike / interdiction,
  • Anti-ship attacks,
  • Nuclear deterrence,
  • buddy-buddy refuelling.

After the induction of Rafale (4.5th generation aircraft) in the Indian Air Force, everyone is wondering about the 5th generation of the aircrafts.

Aircraft name Country Introduction
Boeing-Saab T-7 Red Hawk (T-X) USA 2023, in-development
Chengdu (AVIC) J-20
(Black Eagle)
China 2017, Active, Limited
service
HAL AMCA (Advanced
Medium Combat
Aircraft)
India 2030, in-development
HAL Sukhoi PMF/FGFA India 2019, (currently
cancelled)
HESA F-313 Qaher
(Conqueror)
Iran
KAI KF-X South Korea 2028, in-development
Lockheed Martin F-22
Raptor
USA 2005 (Active, In service)
Lockheed Martin F-35
Lightning II
USA 2016 (Active, In service)
Mitsubishi X-2 (ATD-X /
Shinshin)
Japan 2016, Status: Retired,
Limited Service
Northrop Grumman T-X
(Model 400)
USA 2017, Cancelled
Northrop-McDonnell
Douglas YF-23 (Black
Widow II)
USA 1990,Cancelled,
Stavatti Javelin T-X USA 2017, Cancelled,
Sukhoi Su-57 (Felon) Russia 2019, in development
TAI TF-X (F-X) Turkey 2030, in development

Comparing Rafale aircraft:
Even though Rafale is a 4.5 generation aircraft and China claims that its J-20 is a 5th generation, the Rafale has enough capabilities to counter the Chinese premier aircraft

Rafale is far superior to the J-20, the Chengdu fighter of China. Even though it’s believed to be a 5th generation fighter, it is probably at best a 3.5 generation aircraft. It’s got a third-generation engine as we have in the Sukhoi.

Su35 is also no match to the Rafale with its weapons, superior sensors and fully integrated architecture. The capability to super cruise even with four missiles, stealth characteristics all put together make the Rafale far more potent than Su35.

The biggest difference is that Rafale is an omni-role aircraft. It can carry out at least four missions in one sortie while the J-20 cannot carry out multiple missions is one go.

The Rafale is battle hardened and has been used in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria while the J-20 has not been part of any action.

Rafale will also have the MICA missiles that can be used both for visual and beyond range air-to-air interception and air-to-ground strikes.

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