India operates Rafale, so Bangladesh can opt for Eurofighter

The Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale are competing for a contract to provide the Bangladesh Air Force with advanced fighter jets. Bangladesh is boosting its military strength through a plan called Forces Goals 2030, aimed at updating its armed forces. This has resulted in obtaining 16 Chengdu J-7 fighter jets from China, greatly improving the Air Force’ 

Spanish and German Eurofighters in Estonia begin alert missions
Photo credit: Luftwaffe

In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, Bangladesh announced a request for eight Multi-Role Combat Aircraft. The Bangladesh Air Force’s modernization plans were halted by COVID-19. Despite this, India has put forth its indigenous Light Combat Aircraft for consideration. However, Bangladesh seems to be leaning towards a European fighter jet.

The possibility exists that Bangladesh may be leaning towards the acquisition of a European aircraft, specifically the formidable Eurofighter Typhoon or the French Rafale. However, the Bangladeshi official imparted to the EurAsian Times that no definitive decision will be made prior to the upcoming elections.

‘Because of India’

French Rafale F5 coming with emphasis on EW and SEAD in 2030
Photo credit: Twitter

The official further proclaimed, “The Indian Air Force’s operation of the Rafale has notably elevated the likelihood of the Eurofighter Typhoon’s deployment.” India has added 36 Rafales to its air force and is buying 26 Rafale M for its navy from French manufacturer Dassault. 

The delay in the fighter jet deal for BAF may have contributed to French President Macron’s last-minute visit to Bangladesh, after attending the G-20 summit in India. This visit aimed to strengthen the ties between France and Bangladesh.  France-Bangladesh relations have improved significantly in recent years, with a bilateral trade worth over three billion Euros. The first-ever Bangladeshi satellite, Bangabandhu-1, was built by French company Thales.

Inidan Rafale is a beast

New munition under the French Rafale F4.1 wings - the AASM 1000
Photo credit: French MoD

In the realm of armament, the Indian Rafale stands apart as a formidable entity. It is equipped with 14 hard points, a feature that enables it to bear a considerable load exceeding nine tons. 

The enhancements custom-tailored for India incorporate the highly precise Air-Air Surface Missiles Hammer, the formidable SCALP ‘Storm Shadow’ long-range air-ground cruise missile, and the extended reach and precision of the Meteor air-air missiles. The superior capability provided by Meteor empowers the Indian Rafales to neutralize enemy aircraft at distances exceeding 100 kilometers, thus eliminating the need to breach international borders.

In the highly competitive Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft [MMRCA] contest, the Rafale aircraft prominently distinguished itself as the preferred choice for the Indian Air Force. This competition was, at the time, globally recognized as the most substantial military aviation contract. 

The Rafale, a state-of-the-art French aircraft, faced formidable competition from its closest rival, the Typhoon, meticulously engineered by Eurofighter. However, in a surprising turn of events, the tender process was abruptly terminated. In lieu of the conventional procurement process, the Indian government opted to acquire 36 Rafales in a direct government-to-government purchase from France.

UK will train Ukrainian pilots, even though it cannot train its own - eurofighter typhoon
Photo credit: Pixabay

Rafale and Eurofighter differences

The Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon are both advanced multirole fighter aircraft, but they have several key differences. One major difference is their country of origin. The Rafale is a French aircraft, developed by Dassault Aviation, while the Typhoon is a collaborative effort between several European countries including the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain. This difference in origin has led to variations in design philosophy and technology used in the two aircraft.

In terms of armament, both aircraft are equipped with a wide range of weapons systems. The Rafale can carry a variety of air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and precision-guided munitions. It is also capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

New world-class ECRS Mk2 radar for British Typhoons begins testing
Photo credit: UK MoD / Twitter

The Typhoon also has a similar range of armament options, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and precision-guided bombs. However, the specific weapons carried by each aircraft may vary depending on the requirements of the country operating them.

When it comes to payload, the Rafale has a slightly higher maximum takeoff weight compared to the Typhoon. This means that it can carry a larger payload of weapons and fuel. The Rafale has 14 hardpoints for carrying external stores, while the Typhoon has 13. The Rafale also has a larger internal fuel capacity, giving it a longer range and endurance compared to the Typhoon.

Aircraft capabilities

In terms of capabilities, both aircraft are highly advanced and have similar performance characteristics. They are both capable of supersonic speeds and have advanced avionics systems for navigation, communication, and targeting.

The Rafale is known for its versatility and can perform a wide range of missions including air superiority, ground attack, reconnaissance, and nuclear deterrence.

The Typhoon is also a highly capable multirole fighter, with a focus on air superiority and air defense missions. Both aircraft have been continuously upgraded to enhance their capabilities and keep up with evolving threats.

Greece received the first six of eighteen Rafale fighters
Photo credit: Dassault Aviation

While the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon share some similarities as advanced multirole fighters, they have distinct differences in terms of origin, armament, payload, and capabilities.

These differences reflect the unique design philosophies and requirements of the countries involved in their development. Ultimately, the choice between the two aircraft depends on the specific needs and preferences of the countries operating them.

Water resources

India and Bangladesh are currently engaged in a number of ongoing disputes, with one of the major issues being the sharing of river waters. The two countries share several rivers, including the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, which are crucial for irrigation, drinking water, and transportation.

French Rafale F5 coming with emphasis on EW and SEAD in 2030
Photo credit: Reddit

Disagreements arise over the allocation of water resources, as both countries heavily rely on these rivers for their agricultural and economic activities.

The dispute often centers around the construction of dams and barrages that can impact the flow of water downstream, leading to concerns about water scarcity and environmental degradation.

Their land boundaries

Another contentious issue between India and Bangladesh is the demarcation of their land boundaries. The two countries share a 4,096-kilometer-long border, which is one of the longest land borders in the world.

However, there are areas where the exact boundary line is disputed, leading to tensions and occasional border conflicts. These disputes primarily revolve around issues such as the ownership of enclaves, the presence of border fences, and the movement of people across the border.

Efforts have been made to resolve these disputes through diplomatic negotiations and border talks, but a final resolution is yet to be achieved.


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