“The birds landed safely in Ambala,” Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh wrote on Twitter. “The landing of Rafale fighter jets in India marks the beginning of a new era in our military history.”
Singh said the twin-engine, multi-wing fighter would “revolutionize” the Indian Air Force (IAF). Ordered in 2016, they come in one- or two-seater versions and can be armed with air-to-air, air-to-ground and anti-aircraft missiles, as well as a 30mm cannon, says the manufacturer, Dassault Aviation. .
Dassault also outperforms Rafale’s air traffic control system, which includes the ability to fly on autopilot in all weather conditions in terrain monitoring mode.
“This aircraft has very good flight characteristics, its weapons, radar and other sensors and electronic warfare capabilities are some of the best in the world. Its arrival in India will make the IAF much stronger to deter any threat that may pose to our country.”; Singh is quoted as saying. as stated in a government press release.
On Wednesday, Singh hinted at a dispute.
“If anyone were to worry or criticize this new capacity of the Indian Air Force, it should be those who want to threaten our territorial integrity,” he said on Twitter.
Indian media have filled in on lightning expert reviews of Rafale jets compared to what China could bring during any air conflict, including China’s new J-20 secret fighter jets. The Rafale is not a secret jet, but it is designed for a low profile that is not easy to detect on radar.
There is an open discussion about how the two planes will collide, but Rafale may have one clear advantage: combat experience.
The Rafale aircraft has been used in operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria, Dassault Aviation reports on its website.
India has officially accepted the first batch of nozzles at a French plant where they are manufactured in October last year.
Indian pilots trained on the aircraft and flew from it on an 8,500-kilometer (5,280-mile) journey from France to India. The trip included a stop at Al Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates with a French Air Force tanker to refuel the plane, the Indian government said in a press release.
Two Su-30 fighter jets escorted Rafales as they entered Indian airspace, the government said.
In addition to the Su-30, other fighters in the Indian Navy include the Mirage 2000, LCA Tejas, MiG-27, MiG-29 and Jaguar.