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Q. Rafale fighter jet deal: Outline importance of recently signed Rafale fighter jet deal.
Sep 26, 2016 Related to : GS paper- 3 and 2.

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently India has signed the inter-governmental agreement with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale multirole fighter jets. There were hard bargaining since last 17 months for direct purchase of fighter jets.  Rafale fighter jets are known for its technological superiority and definitely it will augment the India Air Force’s (IAF) capability.

Importance of Rafale fighter jet deal-

  • Currently IAF is facing issue of depleting fighter strength and it is first major acquisition in almost two decades. Hence it comes as breather to IAF.
  • Fighter jets comes with the Meteor radar-guided Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile, which is considered best-in-class with a range of over 150 km  and the Scalp long-range air-to-ground missiles with a range of 300 km.
  • It will help maintain the IAF’s air superiority as they have no equivalents in the region.
  • Given the technological sophistication and the long range, the Rafales fighter jets will play a lead role as nuclear delivery platforms in India’s second-strike capability, replacing the Mirage 2000 fighters.

Analysis-

  • The entry of Rafale fighter jets will definitely augment the capabilities of IAF. Rafale jets with its advanced technology and high range it will increase the capability of unchallenged IAF in the region.
  • Currently India is one of the most diverse air forces in the world. With entry of Rafale fighter jets, the diversity will increase.
  • But the IAF has been attempting to narrow the diversity to optimise utilisation and bring down the cost of operations. The current trajectory of procurement indicates that those plans may be on hold.
  • The government is scouting for another fighter to be inducted in large numbers and produced in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • In the years to come, the indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas and the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft from Russia will join the force, adding to the diversity.
  • While the Rafale deal is a welcome step, it is high time India made procurements based on a long-term integrated plan.

Conclusion-

Rafale fighter jets deal one of the important deal with reference acquisition of fighter jets in the recent time. Rafale with its advanced technology, will definitely argument the strengths of Indian Air Force. Now India has to make long term and integrated plan for procurement of defence equipments.


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