India is constantly trying to strengthen its defense capability to meet the challenges of neighboring countries. India is not only increasing the number of war equipment, but is also upgrading it with the use of state-of-the-art technology. In this episode, preparations are now being made to fly the supersonic jet Rafale-M from the sea. Apart from this, on the occasion of the 75th Independence Day of the year 2022, IAC-1 will be inducted into the naval fleet as INS Vikrant on 15 August.
According to the Aeronautical Development Agency, the first trial of a two-engined indigenous fighter jet is expected to start in 2026. If all goes well, it will be inducted into the Indian Navy fleet by the year 2031. Which fighter aircraft will lead the aircraft carrier IAC-1, it will be decided after the flight trials. Presently, the Indian Navy is currently operating two squadrons of MiG-29K from its only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. India is facing a crisis of availability of Russian MiG-29 aircraft maintenance and spare parts.
DRDO’s LCA-M is not yet fully developed. For this, two single-engine Demonstrator fighter jets are being tested from INS Vikramaditya and Goa’s Coastal Test Facility. Its purpose is to gather the necessary information to develop a future twin-engine fighter jet that can take off from aircraft carriers.
It may be recalled that on the occasion of this year’s 75th Independence Day on August 15 will be included in the fleet as INS Vikrant, the IAC-1. There is every possibility that the Indian Navy will ask France to lease four to five Rafale-M this year so that INS Vikrant can start operations. There is a maintenance cum flight training facility of Rafale at Ambala airbase. Naval pilots will be trained onboard INS Hans.
Rafale-M is a lighter aircraft than its rival US fighter jet F-18. Its airframe is also small. The Rafale-M air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles also have more capability than the F-18 in terms of longer range. The IAC-1 will have to be modified so that the F-18 can be brought from the hangar to the flight deck, as this jet has a comparatively larger airframe.
Features of Rafale aircraft
Rafale aircraft is equipped with not one but many features. This is the reason why it is included in some of the world’s most powerful fighter jets. This aircraft is capable of reaching a speed of 1800 kmph. The weight of Rafale without payload is 10 tonnes. On the other hand, if it flies with a missile, then its weight can be up to 25 tons. Rafale aircraft can fly with many missiles with it. The Rafale aircraft is equipped with stealth technology. This means that it is capable of dodging enemy radar. The Rafale aircraft is capable of flying over the Himalayas even in extremely cold weather. Not every fighter aircraft has such capability. The most dangerous missile has been installed in the Rafale aircraft, which can do air-to-air precision strikes.
This aircraft is also equipped with Hammer missiles. The specialty of these missiles is that if any fighter aircraft is seen in the no escape zone, then this aircraft will be able to kill it too. India has installed Hammer missiles according to its need. This means. They are used for short distances. These missiles can prove to be effective for strikes from the sky to the ground.
Rafale can go to a height of 18 thousand meters in a minute. In this respect, it is better than Pakistan’s F-16 or China’s J-20. The combat radius of this aircraft is 3700 km. This means that it can attack so far away from its flight point and return. This aircraft has the capability of refueling in the air itself. So it can cover more distance at the same time.