After a 11 year long bidding process, the Indian Air Force has decided to award the contract for 126 Medium Multi-Range Fighter Aircraft to Dassault Aviation for Rafale. Defence purchases in India have a murky history, and one expects that this deal has been made in the best interests of the country and the brave air-warriors of the IAF.
I assume that these new planes will replace the old MIG 21 fleets among others, which has consumed so many lives of pilots in the past decade.
The Wikipedia page on the MRCA deal has a lot of history and context in which these jets are being purchased. Its worth a read.
As per news reports, 18 of these planes will be built and delivered, while the rest will be manufactured by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Hopefully, the knowledge acquired from building these planes will help HAL in the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, which has run in to rough weather countless times.
I was going through the history of Rafale, and it was interesting to see that this project was started in the early 80’s as a joint European fighter. France had disagreements over the requirements, and it broke away from others to build Rafale. The other European countries built the Eurofighter Typhoon.
To efficiently compete and lead in the years to come, the Indian government needs to heavily push higher institutions of great quality while also ensuring adequate financial support in the research projects.
The American F16 and F18 are more familiar to us by their many cameos in various Hollywood Â movies, but we seldom see these other great jets. I found a promotional video for the Rafale on Youtube. Enjoy !
Photo Credit: Flickr/aereimilitariorg