NEW DELHI, (BM) – India is considering deploying Rafale fighters on the border with China, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing local military sources and the Hindustan Times newspaper. The newest French Rafale can accommodate in East Ladakh. A similar prospect will be considered at a meeting of the Air Force command in New Delhi on July 22-24.
Read more: France will deliver Rafale fighter jets to India without delay
The publication, according to sources, claims that it is a complex and lengthy process. France will speed up supplies and instead of 4 planes will send 6 fighters. So far, the Indian Air Force has 4 Rafale fighters.
Recall that in September 2016, India agreed with France on the supply of 36 aircraft of this type. The order amount is $ 6.5 billion.
According to the original schedule, the French should deliver 18 aircraft to India by February 2021. Then, in April-May 2022, India should receive the rest of the shipment.
Within just two month, the delivery of the French fighters was obscure and dangerous for the Indian Air Force.
As we reported in March 2020 the delivery of the first four Rafale fighters to India, scheduled for May, may be delayed. Then, New Delhi expected Paris to respond when it plans to fly, but there were indications that the coronavirus spread situation may change these plans.
Then, the Indian Covernment expected the new fighters to land in India in the last week of May, but the Indian Air Force command did not yet received confirmation from Dassault Aviation.
Ambala Air Force Base was geared up for the new fighter armament ceremony. Even then it was known that they would be part of the 17th Golden Arrows. The second Rafale squadron will be deployed at Hasimira Air Base in West Bengal to counter the threat posed by China.
Read more: Why India needs the Russian MiG-35 fighters equipped with AI and AESA radar?
But, on May 24 the French side announced that will deliver Rafale military aircraft to India without delay. This information came from the French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain.
The Ambassador of France noted that there is no reason for concern about the delivery of aircraft, because France strictly complies with the deadlines for the supply of fighter jets.
Russia is trying to influence India’s decisions regarding the French Rafales
It is no secret that India is perhaps Russia’s largest customer in terms of arms sales. And not only that – the two countries have joint production in three main directions – a T-90 tank, AK assault rifles and the BrahMos supersonic missile.
Therefore, India’s purchase of French aircraft poses a kind of threat to Russia. Russian military experts have used the conflict between China and India to remind their Indian brothers that the French fighter is unable to deal with China’s 4th and 5th generation fighters.
In fact, French fighters belonging to the 4 ++ generation will not be able to help India if the conflict escalates from a “stone-stick” to a truly military confrontation, including a confrontation in the air, was a expert opinion of some russian military specialists in the end of June.
Such a confrontation, of course, is not in the circle of interests of either India or China, but there are forces on the planet for which the real dream is to push the foreheads of these two giants.
Then, they put on the table one of the important issues in relation to the purchase of Rafale fighters by India – the fighter cost. As noted by Military Review magazine, open Indian sources called an incredible price – each Rafal costs the Indian budget more than $ 200 million!
Read more: US experts unexpectedly praised the MiG-35 and recommended India to buy it
This is two and a half times more expensive than the fifth-generation American fighter F-35 and about three times higher than the amount by which the J-20 buys China for its air force.
In other words, for 36 French-made Rafale fighters that will appear in the Indian Air Force, China can respond with three times as many of its fifth generation J-20 fighters – for the same money.
Even if, in some ways, the characteristics of the Chinese combat aircraft lag behind the French 4 ++, then what is called “capable of crushing by quantity”.
But China, like hotcakes, is buying other fighters for its Air Force. One of these is the J-16. In China itself, it is considered an analogue of the Russian Su-35. If we compare its characteristics with the characteristics of the French Rafal, then the aircraft produced in France is not exactly called having an advantage.
For example, the maximum Rafale speed is about Mach 1.8, and the J-16 is Mach 2.2. The Rafale practical ceiling is about 3.8 km lower than the same J-16. Even in engine thrust, the Chinese Su-35 is superior to the French combat aircraft.
This is because even if India throws all the “Rafali” that it has contracted to the borders of China, then no small and victorious war will happen for it. So far, the superiority in technical aircraft equipment is still on the side of China.
Therefore, it is 100 percent better to discuss difficult issues at the negotiating table in order to prevent third parties from taking advantage of the situation to add oil to the fire.
Read more: Coronavirus may delay Rafale fighter jets delivery to India
An unexpected message arrived from the United States
Involuntarily or not, some American experts in the field have been able to help Russia try to present its aircraft as a better alternative to the French Rafale.
On the national holiday of France, July 14, an article appeared in an American magazine about the superiority of the Russian MiG-35, which is a really updated and improved version of the legend MiG-29.
In the American Military Watch Magazine, the Russian 4++ fighter of the MiG-35 generation was not only praised, but also called the only combat aircraft that India should acquire in the near future.
In fact, the United States recognized the superiority of the Russian combat vehicle over the F-21, believing that if New Delhi really makes a deal with Russia to acquire MiG-35 fighters, then this will be the best choice in terms of quality and cost.
“After the confrontation between the Indian and Chinese military in the Galvan valley in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas in June 2020, India needs to seriously think about buying the Russian MiG-35” the article said.
“China has not yet deployed the latest fifth-generation J-20 combat vehicles at the Indian borders. Beijing limited itself to the transfer of J-16 fighters to the border, which are the modernization of the Su-30MKK, previously delivered by Russia. They surpass the MiG-29UPG and Su-30MKI in their performance characteristics and operational qualities, so the Indians were in a difficult position. Now India feels an urgent need for a new generation of aircraft, and the MiG-35 is well suited for this role. The MiG-35 is a 4++ generation fighter that will allow us to close the technological gap with China,” continues the author of the article.
Read more: India will not buy either a Russian MiG-35 or an American F-21
The Russian MiG-35 fighter is indeed a highly efficient combat vehicle, the acquisition of which India was thinking about, however, has not yet made a final decision.
What we know about the French Rafale fighetr?
Over the entire period of operation of the aircraft, four accidents occurred, as a result of which five aircraft were lost, several pilots died. The incidents were caused by both technical problems and the human factor.
The Rafale multipurpose fighter is tailless, with a delta wing of a significant area with large influxes. In the front of the machine is an additional high-lying horizontal tail.
The wing has two-section slats and one-section ailerons. Part of the wing is made of titanium alloys, part of carbon fiber.
The power plant is twin-engine, located at the rear of the aircraft. Rafale is a single-keel machine.
When creating the machine, composite materials were actively used. One of the tasks that the designers of the “Dassault Aviation” faced was to reduce the fighter’s radar signature.
Composite materials account for 20% of the aircraft area and 25% of its mass. In addition to reducing the visibility of the Rafale, this allowed us to get a gain in mass.
It should be noted that although the designers of “Dasso Aviation” paid great attention to reducing the radar visibility of the aircraft, they did not copy the American experience in this direction, but went their own way. As a result, simpler and, most importantly, cheaper solutions were found.
Read more: India might replace the Russian Su-57 with the American F-21
Particularly problematic from the point of view of radar visibility, parts of the fighter (leading edges of the wing and empennage, landing gear flaps) received characteristic sawtooth edges, which significantly reduced their visibility.
The modification for the navy is distinguished by a reinforced chassis design, a special brake hook on the rear of the fighter, as well as a special Telemir system, which synchronizes the operation of the aircraft and ship navigation systems. As a result of such changes, the “marine” Rafale is five hundred kilograms heavier than the land modification.
The power plant of the aircraft consists of two twin-circuit turbojet engines SNECMA M88-2-E4, which are built using the latest technologies and materials used in this area.
They have monocrystalline turbine blades, low-smoke combustion chamber, disks are made of powder alloys. SNECMA M88-2-E4 has excellent characteristics, high controllability, an excellent ratio of the developed thrust to the engine mass. SNECMA M88-2-E4 has a modular design, which greatly facilitates its maintenance and repair.
Engine development for this fighter was a daunting task. The customer demanded a product that worked reliably when the aircraft performed a variety of tasks (maneuverable air combat, high-speed breakthrough of the air defense system).
At the same time, the engine had to have a large resource, excellent thrust-weight ratio and low fuel consumption. The SNECMA M88-2-E4, installed on the Rafal, was the first French third-generation turbojet engine.
All Rafale aircraft are fitted with Messier-Dowty landing gear with forward retraction. The landing gear of ground and deck-based fighters is different, in the latter they are reinforced.
Read more: India plans to invest heavily in five wide-range Russian combat jets
Cabins for single-seat Rafales are equipped with Martin-Baker Mk.16 ejection seats, and the cab lantern opens to the right. The pilot’s seat is characterized by excellent ergonomics. Data on the operation of aircraft systems and flight and navigation information is displayed on liquid crystal monitors.
Rafale boasts the latest electronics. The aircraft is equipped with a very advanced avionics system, which consists of a new generation Thales RBE2 radar with two-axis electronic scanning, as well as an optical system with a laser range finder and a helmet-mounted target designation system.
There is also an airborne electronic warfare system: the French believe that it is preferable to suppress enemy air defense systems than to hide from them.
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