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French and Indian Rafale Fighters to Participate in Joint Combat Exercise This Week | India News

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NEW DELHI: India will deploy its new Rafale fighters against French Rafales for a joint exercise called “Desert Knight” in Jodhpur this week, in the first high-voltage combat maneuvers of its kind for omni-directional aircraft since they were installed by the IAF last year.
The Rafales will also make their debut in this year’s Republic Day parade. Two of the Generation 4.5 fighters will be among the 15 fighters, five transport aircraft, 21 helicopters and a vintage Dakota that will participate in the flypast on January 26. The protagonist will be a Rafale that will perform the “Vertical Charlie” maneuver. tearing through the sky directly over the Rajpath.
The IAF has so far incorporated eight of the 36 Rafale, which are also capable of delivering nuclear weapons, under the 59 billion rupee deal signed with France in September 2016. A further three are scheduled to land in India by the end of this month. All 36 will be delivered by the end of 2022.
The objective of Exercise Desert Knight, in which India and France will deploy fighters, transport aircraft and refueling aircraft to the air from January 20-24, “is to provide operational exposure and share best practices to enhance capabilities of combat, “officials said on Monday.
“French forces are currently deployed to Asia as part of their ‘Skyros deployment’, and will be in transit through India. The Desert Knight exercise is in addition to the regular “Garuda” war games that take place between the two air forces. It is indicative of the seriousness of the two to improve mutual cooperation by making use of the available opportunities for fruitful interaction, ”he added.
Twin-engine Rafales have a combat range of 780 km to 1,650 km, with no air refueling, depending on the nature of their mission. IAF fighters are armed with long weapons such as “Scalp” air-to-ground cruise missiles with a range of over 300 km.
The fighters are also equipped with top-notch Meteor air-to-air missiles, which with an attack range of 120 to 150 km can outperform any missile that can currently be launched by Pakistani or Chinese aircraft.
The IAF also ordered “Hammer” precision-guided air-to-ground munitions for the Rafales, in an agreement that was reached last year amid the ongoing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh.
With an attack range of 20 to 70 km, Hammer ammunition is designed to destroy bunkers, reinforced shelters and other targets on all terrain, including mountainous Ladakh.

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