Rafale Marine Aircraft
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Paris, significant proposals were put forth by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). These proposals aimed to strengthen the Indian Navy through the procurement of Rafale Marine fighter jets and Scorpene submarines.
Prime Minister Modi’s Visit Sets the Stage
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on his visit to Paris, the DAC convened a crucial meeting to discuss and clear proposals for the acquisition of naval assets. The proposal includes the purchase of 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets, reinforcing the Navy’s aerial capabilities. Additionally, the force is set to acquire three Scorpene submarines, which will bolster its underwater strength. These acquisitions signify a significant step towards enhancing India’s maritime preparedness and strategic reach.
Leadership at the Helm
The DAC, responsible for clearing major capital procurements, operates under the guidance of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. This apex body plays a crucial role in ensuring transparency, efficiency, and strategic decision-making in defence acquisitions.
Acceptance of Necessity (AoN)
The first step in the defence procurement process is the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN). The DAC has granted AoN for the procurement of 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets. This initial approval lays the foundation for further negotiations with the French government to determine pricing and other terms of purchase through an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA).
French Excellence: Rafale Fighter Jets
Manufactured by France’s Dassault Aviation, the Rafale fighter jets are renowned for their advanced capabilities. Equipped with cutting-edge weapon systems, such as Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missiles, Hammer air-to-surface smart weapon systems, and Scalp cruise missiles, these aircraft provide a formidable edge to the Indian Navy.
Differentiating the Marine Version
The Rafale Marine fighter jets are specifically designed for naval operations. Key differences include foldable wings, a longer airframe suitable for carrier landings, and a tail hook for arrested landing on carriers. These adaptations enable the aircraft to operate effectively from aircraft carriers at sea.
Naval Aviation: MiG-29K
Currently, the Indian Navy operates the MiG-29K, a carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft, from INS Vikramaditya. However, the need for additional deck-based fighters prompted the proposals discussed during Prime Minister Modi’s visit. The procurement of Rafale Marine aircraft will complement the existing fleet until the indigenous Twin Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF) is developed.
France’s Rafale Legacy
France’s commitment to the Rafale aircraft is evident in its comprehensive orders. To date, France has ordered a total of 192 Rafales, including those procured to compensate for sales to other nations. These aircraft, which serve as a key component of France’s nuclear deterrence, boast impressive operational hours and demonstrate their reliability and advanced capabilities.
Month: Current Affairs - July, 2023
Category: Defence Current Affairs