Dassault Rafale ,Multirole Combat Fighter,Deal and Induction in Airforce,Indian Air Force
The Dassault Rafale is a French Twin-Engine,Canard Delta wing,Mulitrole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation for wide range of short and long-range missions, including ground and sea attacks, reconnaissance, high-accuracy strikes and nuclear strike deterrence.
The aircraft were developed for the French Air Force and Navy. France’s Air Force and Navy ordered 180 (132 for the air force and 48 for the navy), 100 aircraft had been delivered by the end of 2010.The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006. Ten aircraft are operational on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.
India Deal to introduce Dassault Rafale in AirForce
There was a competition known as Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Competition also known as the MRCA tender in which 126 multi-role combat aircrafts are supplied to the Indian Air force (IAF). The Defence Ministry has allocated ₹55000 crore (US$8.2 billion) for the purchase of these aircraft.
In this contest there are six competitors : : Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mikoyan MiG-35, and Saab JAS 39 Gripen.
On 27 April 2011, after an intensive and detailed technical evaluation by the IAF, it reduced the bidders to two fighters — Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale. On 31 January 2012 it was announced that Dassault Rafale won the competition due to its lower life-cycle cost.
It was proposed that 18 Rafales would be supplied to the IAF by 2015 in fly-away condition, while the remaining 108 would be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in India under transfer of technology agreements. The deal stalled due to disagreements over production in India.Dassault refused to take responsibility for the 108 HAL manufactured Rafales,as it had reservations about the ability of HAL to accommodate the complex manufacturing and technology transfers of the aircraft.
Then in March 2014,the two sides were agree that the first 18 aircraft would be delivered to India in flying condition and that the remaining 108 would be 70 percent built by HAL.
On 10 April 2015, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s visit to Paris, it was announced that India would buy 36 Dassault Rafales in fly-away condition.The deal was finalised in November 2015, and will be signed in January 2016; the first aircraft will be delivered to the IAF by early 2019, with the full complement of aircraft to be delivered by 2023.
Dassault Rafale will replace the Mirage 2000 in the Indian Airforce.
The aircraft has a length of 15.27 m wingspan of 10.80 m and height of 5.2 m.The aircraft has crew capacity of 2 Pilots.The fuel capacity of aircraft is 4700 kg (internal). The Rafale was developed as a modern jet fighter with a very high level of agility.It has delta wing with active close-coupled canard combine t maximize manoeuvrability.
For stability,the aircrafts uses digital fly-by-wire flight controls to artificially enforce and make aircraft more aerodynamically more stable.
The cockpit of Rafale is equipped with a heads-up, wide-angle holographic display from Thales Avionique, which provides aircraft control data, mission data and firing cues.it has hands-on throttle and stick control (HOTAS).A Multi-image head level highly collimated display is integrated in the cockpit that presents tactical situation and sensor data,while two touch-screen lateral displays are also there to show the aircraft system parameters and mission data.
The pilot has a sight and display mounted in its helmet and a CCD camera with on board recorder that records the image of the head-up display throughout the mission.
Avionics and Sensors Technology
The Rafale is equipped with an RBE2 passive electronically scanned radar developed by Thales, which has look-down and shoot-down capabilities and it can track up to eight targets simultaneously and provides threat identfications and prioritisation.
The Thales/Sagem OSF infrared search and track system is integrated in the nose of the aircraft that carries out serach,target identification,telemetry and automatic target discrimination and tracking.
The Rafale is also integrated with Spectra,a electronic warfare system form Thales.It incorporates solid transmitter technology,a DAL laser warning receiver,missile warning,detection system and jammers.
Navigation and Communication
The Rafale is equipped with advanced communication suite which includes second-generation Saturn on-board V/UHF radio and anti-jam tactical UHF radio for Nato. Saturn provides voice encryption in fast-frequency hopping mode.
It is also equipped with fixed-frequency VHF / UHF radio for communications with civil air traffic control. A multifunction information distribution system (MIDS) terminal provides secure, high-data-rate tactical data exchange with Nato C2 stations, AWACS aircraft or naval ships.
The navigation system includes Thales TLS 2000 navigation receiver that integrates the instrument landing system (ILS), microwave landing system (MLS) and VHF omni-directional radio-ranger (VOR) and marker functions. The Rafale has a TACAN tactical air navigation receiver for en-route navigation and as a landing aid.
The Rafale has requipped with AHV 17 radar altimeter and SB25A Combined interrogator-transporder developed by Thales.
Power and Performance
The rafale is powered by two M88-2 engines from SNECMA, each providing a thrust of 75kN. The aircraft is equipped for buddy-buddy refuelling with a flight refuelling hose reel and drogue pack.
The M88 incorporates the latest technologies such as single-piece bladed compressor disks (blisks), an on-polluting combustion chamber, single-crystal high-pressure turbine blades, powder metallurgy disks, ceramic coatings and composite materials.
The aircraft can fly with maximum takeoff weight of 24,500 kg .It has maximum speed of Mach 1.8 (1912 km/h)at high altitude and Mach 1.1(1390 km/h) at low altitude.The operationlal range of Rafale is 3700+ km with 3 drop tanks.The service ceiling and rate of climb is 15,235 m and 304.8 m/s respectively.
The Rafale has a twin gun pod and a Nexter (formerly Giat) 30mm DEFA 791B cannon, which can fire 2,500 rounds a minute. The Rafale is equipped with laser designation pods for laser guidance of air-to-ground missiles.
Rafale can carry payloads of more than 9t on 14 hardpoints for the air force version, with 13 for the naval version. The range of weapons includes: Mica, Magic, Sidewinder, ASRAAM and AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; Apache, AS30L, ALARM, HARM, Maverick and PGM100 air-to-ground missiles and Exocet / AM39, Penguin 3 and Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
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