Rafale is a French origin 4+ generation multi role fighter aircraft manufactured by Dassualt Aviation. Rafale has been tested and proved its capabilities in different missions including the ones in Syria and Afghanistan.
A Game changer for Indian Airforce:
The Indian Airforce whose squadron numbers are depleting are eyeing on the fighter jet Rafale. Indian Airforce put out a tender for acquisition of fighter jets and after tests the Indian airforce signed the deal with Dassault Aviation for acquisition of 36 Rafale. Indian Airforce needs to have minimum of 42 squadrons for cohesive threat from adversaries China and Pakistan. The fighter jet Rafale is a state of the art fighter jet with latest avionics, radar, missile systems and an operational capability which both adversaries China and Pakistan do not possess. The fighter jet Rafale gives the Indian Airforce a boost in term of weapon delivery with its beyond visual range missiles which can shoot targets at a distance of 150 kilometres even before the adversaries track the aircraft. India is a victim of state sponsored terrorism which forces it to increase defence spending to safe guard the borders. Terrorists attacks on the army troopers has forced the government to conduct surgical strikes in Pakistan. The attack on the Indian Army in Pulwama forced the government to order the Indian Airforce a surgical strike at Balakot in Pakistan. Though the surgical strikes were successful, if the Indian Airforce had Rafale in their inventory or in strike package to hit the terror camps in Pakistan it would have been easier for the Indian Airforce as its technologically more advance.
Allegations of Corruption:
The Indian defence market is highly competitive and is often tainted by opposition for corruption. The deal between the Indian airforce and Dassault aviation has triggered a political controversy in India over the purchase of 36 twin-engine Rafale fighter jets from France. The Rafale fighter deal is estimated to cost India Rs 58,000 crore, however, the Opposition in India has claimed that the Rafale deal has cost Indian Air force more than the thrice the original amount for Rafale deal, and that an Indian partner favoured by the government was unfairly chosen as a partner in the Rafale deal. The opposition has been creating doldrums in the assembly about corruption in the Rafale deal. The Rafale deal has been given cleared of corruption and has been given a clean chit by the supreme court. The political corruption controversy has not only delayed the acquisition of Rafale fighter jet and training of the personnel for the Indian Airforce but made the people furious about corruption scandals in the defence deals.
To sum it up the Indian Airforce has been short of potential fighter jets with Rafale deal the fighter jets coming into its inventory will boost its capabilities to meet any objectives against Pakistan or China with the state of the art Rafale fighter jet. The controversy about corruption in the Indian airforce’s Rafale deal is likely to continue until the demands of the opposition are met regarding the investigation.