Rafale fighter jets Current Affairs - 2020

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.

Highlights

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.

Background

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.

Rafale Jets Tail Numbers to honour Ex IAF Chief

The Indian Rafale Fighter Jets are to fly with tail sign BS. BS stands for retired Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa. The tail number initials are unique.

Tail Number

The Tail number is an identification number on an aircraft. Every aircraft flying in the country is provided with the tail number. The tail numbers are allocated according to the norms of International Civil Aviation.

Convention on International Civil Aviation

According to the convention, the civil aircraft should be registered with the National Aviation Authority. The convention was also known as Chicago Convention. This registration number is the tail number of the aircraft.

International Civil Aviation established the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It is a specialized agency of the UN that is responsible for coordinating international air travel. It was signed in 1944 in Chicago.

National Aviation Authority

The National Aviation Authority maintains an aircraft register. It also oversees the regulation and approval of civil aviation. The authority also regulates maintenance of aircrafts, their condition of manufacturing, aircraft design, pilot licensing, standards of air traffic control.

Birender Singh Dhanoa

BS Dhanoa served Indian Air Force as Air Chief Marshall. He was born in Deoghar, Bihar. His ancestral village is in Punjab. His father was a retired IAS officer. He has been awarded several medals namely Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vashisht Seva Medal.

During Kargil war, Dhanoa and his squadron devised innovative methods of night bombing that had never been attempted before. He was awarded with Vayu Sena Medal and Yudh Seva Medal for his actions in the war.