In view of the reliability of strategic-ally France, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy have shown great interest in the Rafale platform because of its weight-to-power ratio and maritime strike capability.
France will deliver a total of 35 aircraft to India by the end of 2021. The directional Rafale fighter will be deployed, and the last fighter will go to Yedao Air Force Base alone and will be deployed in North Bengal in January 2022.
Twenty-six fighters have been delivered, 24 have landed in India, and the remaining two have been reserved for training IAF pilots and technicians in France: In view of the reliability of strategic-ally France, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy have demonstrated against the Rafale platform Great interest because of its power-to-weight ratio and maritime attack capability.
Obviously, the Indian Air Force leadership hopes to purchase 36 Rafale in the future, and the Navy is considering Rafale-M as a combat option on the INS Vikrant (local aircraft carrier 1), which will be put into use next year. The eastern theatre forcibly doubles India’s warfare capabilities, because French fighter jets are equipped with the subcontinent’s longest-range air-to-air meteor missile, hammer air-to-ground smart ammunition, and long-range SCALP air-to-surface weapons. India has the highest “hammer” missile obtained through emergency procurement.
It can launch 500 feet and hit high-altitude targets more than 70 kilometres away. The missile clings to the terrain, then ascends to a height of more than 4,000 meters, and then hits the target in a top-to-bottom motion. Due to high-altitude targets, mountainous terrain and China's recently acquired Russian S-400 air defence system, the Indian Rafale carries specially modified hammer missiles. In fact, France has already proposed to jointly develop Hammer and Meteor missiles with a longer range and heavier payload with India.
Although the delivery time of the French Rafale fighters is a bit earlier, everyone’s attention is focused on the opening of the Hashihara Air Force Base, which will house the second Rafale fighter squadron, and the first squadron will be located in Ambala. The presence of gusts in eastern India will enhance its military response in this sector, with Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh being the focus of the national defence.
The positioning of Hashimara is like this, it covers Chunbi Valley, Sikkim and the sensitive Siliguri Corridor. Although Ambala and Hashmara are Rafale’s operational bases, nuclear-capable fighter jets will fly in India and its coastal areas.