- Confidence of North East India & Eastern borders boosted
New Delhi. 28 July 2021. The Indian Air Force formally inducted Rafale aircraft into No. 101 Squadron at Air Force Station Hasimara in Eastern Air Command (EAC) today. The fighters jets not only boost to the military prowess of India but also the confidence of the North Eastern states and borders.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Chief of the Air Staff presided over the induction ceremony. On arrival, CAS was received by Air Marshal Amit Dev AVSM VSM, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command. The event also included a fly-past heralding the arrival of Rafale aircraft to Hasimara followed by a traditional water cannon salute.
It may be recalled that the Indian Air Force had first inducted Rafale fighter jets into its inventory at Air Force Station, Ambala. The aircraft are a part of 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”. The first five Indian Air Force Rafale aircraft had arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala from France on 27th July 2020 and the fighter was officially handed over to the Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at France on 8th October 2019 . IAF will receive all the 36 Rafales by April 2022.
Addressing the personnel during the induction ceremony, CAS said that the induction of Rafale had been carefully planned at Hasimara; keeping in mind the importance of strengthening IAF’s capability in the Eastern Sector. Recalling the glorious history of 101 Squadron which bestowed upon them the title of ‘Falcons of Chamb and Akhnoor’, CAS urged the personnel to combine their zeal and commitment with the unmatched potential of the newly inducted platform. He said that he had no doubt that the Squadron would dominate whenever and wherever required and ensure that the adversary would always be intimidated by their sheer presence.
101 Squadron is the second IAF Squadron to be equipped with Rafale aircraft. The Squadron was formed on 01 May 1949 at Palam and has operated Harvard, Spitfire, Vampire, Su-7 and MiG-21M aircraft in the past. The glorious history of this Squadron includes active participation in 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars.
Rafale literally meaning “gust of wind” and “burst of fire” in a more military sense. It is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. The Rafale is referred to as an “omnirole” aircraft by Dassault.
The Rafale will be an envy of all the airforces with its MICA, Scalp and Meteor missiles made by French missile major MBDA which has built a close partnership over 50 years with India’s armed forces. It is equipping the IAF’s Rafales with a full comprehensive weapon package that includes the game-changing Meteor and MICA air-to-air missiles and the SCALP cruise missile to conduct deep strike missions in a complex and severe environment.
Thales provides a RBE2 AESA radar, the Spectra electronic warfare system, optronics, the communication navigation and identification system (CNI), the majority of the cockpit display systems, power generation systems and a logistics support component.
The Rafale is fitted with twin Safran M88-2 engines each capable of providing up to 50 kilonewtons (11,000 pounds-force) of dry thrust and 75 kN (17,000 pounds-force) with afterburners. The M88 enables the Rafale to supercruise while carrying four missiles and one drop tank.
The Rafale can carry up to 9.5 tons of payload (21,000 lbs). To support missions at extended ranges the fighter also carries three 524 gallons (2,000 litre) fuel tanks weighing additional 6.7 tons (14,700 lbs) that will top up the fighter’s internal fuel capacity of 4.7 t (10,300 lbs). These fuel tanks can also be used for ‘buddy refuelling’.
The 2500 rounds per minute NEXTER 30M791 30 mm internal cannon is available on both single and two-seaters Rafale. It has twin gun pod and a Nexter (formerly Giat) 30mm DEFA 791B cannon, which can fire 2,500 rounds a minute. The Rafale is equipped with laser designation pods for laser guidance of air-to-ground missiles.
After France, Egypt , Qatar, India and Greece, Croatia is the sixth nation to have selected the Rafale, a 4.5 generation combat aircraft for it’s Air Force.