First Batch of Rafael Jets to arrive in India
On July 27, 2020, the first batch of Rafael Jets flew out of France. The jets are to reach India on July 29, 2020.
The jets are to be armed with deadly weapons, radars, advanced electronics, electronic warfare systems and self protection suites. They are combat-deployable. The jets are to be equipped with MICA weapon system. They are to be provided with 13 India specific enhancements. It includes Israeli helmet mounted displays, radar enhancements, cold start capability from high altitude regions, low-band jammers, infrared search and tracking system and flight data recording.
In 2016, the Government of India placed an order of 36 Rafael jets with the French Dassault Aviation. The deal was signed for Rs 59,000 crores. With the first set arriving, the rest of 31 jets are to be delivered by 2021.
As a part of the contract, the Indian pilots were provided complete training on weapon system and aircraft by Dassault. Around 12 Indian pilots were trained under the programme.
About Rafale jets
The jets can attain a maximum speed of 2,222.6 km/hr. It can climb up to 50,000 feet. It can be refueled in the mid air. Rafael can lift to 9,500 kg of weight. The cannon attached to Rafael can release 2,500 rounds in one minute. Also, it can carry nuclear weapons, long range air-to-air missiles and laser guided bombs.