India is set to receive the first batch of Rafale fighter jets by the end of July amid rising tensions with Pakistan and China. Many experts have already termed the Rafale jets a game-changer for the Indian Airforce that can overwhelm anything that Pakistan or China have in their arsenal.
The final date for the arrival of the Rafale Jets is yet to be determined and there is a likelihood of a delay COVID-19 lockdown in India and France. As per schedule, the delivery of the French-origin jets was earlier supposed to have been completed by May end but this got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The first four hets including three twin-seater trainer aircraft and one single-seater fighter aircraft would start arriving by the end of July at the Ambala airbase. The trainers will have the tail numbers of the RB series in honour of the Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria who played a pivotal role in clinching India’s biggest-ever defence deal for 36 Rafale combat aircraft,” defence sources told ANI here.
According to ANI, the Rafale jets on their way from France to India would be refuelled by a French Air Force tanker aircraft in the air before they halt in the Middle East. From the Middle East to India, there would be one mid-air fuelling done by the Indian IL-78 tanker before they land in the country.
Meanwhile, the first batch of seven Indian pilots has also completed their training at a French airbase while the second batch would be going to France as soon as the lockdown measures are eased in both countries.
Rafale Jets – Game Changer?
Rafale fighter jet is a twin-jet fighter aircraft manufactured by French-based Dassault Aviation. Rafales are able to operate form both, shore bases and aircraft carriers.
The French-origin jets, which have been especially customized as per the Indian conditions are considered as 4.5 generation fighter jets compared to the F-16’s of Pakistan Air Force (categorized as 4th Generation Jets).
Rafales are nuclear-capable fighter jets and are believed to be equipped with semi-stealth technology and state of art radars and missiles. According to experts talking to the EurAsian Times, what gives India a crucial advantage will be the deadly combination of SU-30 MKI’s and Rafale Jets which not only overwhelm Pakistani F-16’s in numbers but also in armoury and radar.
The expert adds, any major terror acts by Pakistan, will not stop the Indian government from launching another attack into Pakistan. With Rafales and SU-30 MKI’s leading the attack, Pakistani jets, especially the JF-17’s would be sitting ducks the for the Indians.