Rafale would significantly bolster India's air defence capabilities: IAF Chief
New Delhi, Mar 25: With the first Rafale fighter jet set to arrive in India in September this year, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Monday said that the Dassault Aviation manufactured aircrafts would increase India's air defence deterrence levels "manifold".
In September 2016, India signed a deal with the French government and Dassault Aviation to acquire 36 Rafale fighter jets to meet urgent requirements. The Indian Air Force rates the Rafale much higher than the Su-30MKIs in terms of capabilities, and has been making a case for the increased number of Rafale type multi-role fighters, said reports.
"When the Rafale comes in, the deterrence of our air defence will increase manifold,and they (Pakistan) will not come anywhere near the Line of Control (LoC) or the border, with the kind of capability that we will posses, for which presently they do not have an answer," IAF Chief told news agency ANI.
Acquiring Rafale jets would provide a huge boosts to India's aerial capabilities, considering that it is a twin-engine omni-role fighter with a wide array of weapons. It is not only designed to provide aerial supremacy but also Deep Air Support (DAS), ground support, in-depth strikes, nuclear deterrence missions, and aerial reconnaissance.
The Indian Air Force will reportedly deploy one squadron each of the Rafale combat aircraft at its airbases in Ambala in Haryana and Hashimara in West Bengal's Alipurduar District .
PM Modi earlier this month said that the entire country is feeling the absence of Rafale fighter jet aircraft and wondered what could have happened if the IAF had the fighter planes for Balakot air strike on terrorist camps. The Indian Air Force had deployed around a dozen Mirage-2000 aircrafts to hit the target. A Jaish-e-Mohammed camp was destroyed and many terrorists were killed in the air strike on Feb 26, as per the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).