The much awaited Rafale fighter aircraft will be a major boost to India’s firepower as the fighters will come fitted with Meteor and Mica missiles from Europe.
These missiles will give immense advantage to Rafale fighter aircraft as these are ‘beyond visual range’ weapons.
In simpler terms, the pilot of the fighter plane will be able to target enemy plane even if he cannot physically see the enemy craft.
The range of meteor and mica missile is exceptionally long at 100 kilometers. This will give a comprehensive edge to these planes in combat situations.
The Rafale fighters will come along with Meteor Mica missiles under the Rs 59,800 crore deal which will give Indian Air Force aerial superiority in case of launching air campaigns against enemy ground targets and will also suppress their air defence planes as well.
The deal is facing questions from the Congress which had declared Rafale as the L-1 bidder in 2012 and contract negotiations had begun with its manufacturer Dassault Aviation that year.
Contract negotiations remained incomplete even after 2 years in 2014 due to a lack of agreement on various terms of RFP compliance and cost related issues.
There was no deal under the UPA Government.
Transfer of Technology remained the primary issue of concern between the two sides. Dassault Aviation was also not willing to take the responsibility of quality control of production of 108 aircraft in India.
While Dassault provisioned for 3 crore man hours for production of the aircraft in India, HAL’s estimate was nearly 3 times higher, escalating costs manifold.
As per comparisons drawn between the two deals based on the cost of flyaway condition planes, the NDA deal is coming out to be cheaper by Rs 12,000 crore.
The Air Force is sending teams of its pilots and technicians to a French air base to train on the Rafales that will start arriving in early 2019.