France to Deliver 35-Rafales by the End of Year – 2021

France to Deliver 35-Rafales: France’s unwavering commitment to India’s defense strengthens with the ongoing delivery of 35 Rafale fighter jets. Both the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Navy have shown keen interest in the Rafale. And due to its exceptional capabilities, including an impressive weight-to-power ratio and unparalleled maritime strike prowess.

France will deliver all 35 Rafales by year’s end, with the final jet making a solo journey to the newly activated Hashimara Air Force Base in January 2022. This strategic deployment significantly doubles India’s combat capabilities in the crucial eastern theatre.

Rafale the New member in IAF Arsenal

The Rafale boasts an unmatched arsenal, including the subcontinent’s longest-range Meteor air-to-air missile. The Hammer air-to-ground smart weapon, and the long-range SCALP air-to-surface missile.

The Hammer, procured through emergency measures. And stands out for its ability to neutralize high-altitude targets over 70 kilometers away.

Its terrain-hugging approach and top-down attack pattern make it particularly effective against high-altitude targets and mountainous terrain. Especially considering China’s recent acquisition of the S-400 air defense system. France has also proposed a joint development program with India to further enhance the capabilities of both the Hammer and Meteor missiles.

France to Deliver 35-Rafales will

Beyond the timely delivery of the Rafales, the opening of the Hashimara Air Force Base in January 2022 marks a significant milestone. This base will house the second Rafale fighter squadron, complementing the first operational squadron in Ambala. The presence of Rafales in eastern India significantly bolsters response capabilities, particularly in the strategically important regions of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

Hashimara’s strategic location ensures coverage of the Chunbi Valley, Sikkim, and the sensitive Siliguri Corridor. While Ambala and Hashimara serve as the operational bases, these nuclear-capable Rafales, will be deployed across India and its coastal areas, solidifying India’s airpower and solidifying the strategic partnership with France.