Specifications and performance data of Rafale fighter jets
New Delhi, July 29: After covering a distance of 7,000 km with air-to-air refuelling and a single stop in the United Arab Emirates, the first batch of 5 Rafale fighter jets will arrive in India today. One of the world's most powerful fighter jets will be inducted to the Indian Air Force's Golden Arrows Squadron in Ambala.
The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. The fully versatile Rafale is able to carry out all combat aviation missions: air superiority and air defense, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006. With more than 30,000 flight hours in operations, the Rafale has proven its worth in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.
The aircraft is available in three main variants: Rafale C single-seat land-based version, Rafale B twin-seat land-based version, and Rafale M single-seat carrier-based version.
Here's how the Rafale fighter aircraft will add to IAF power:
The aircraft is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons. European missile maker MBDA's Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets
Meteor is the next generation of BVR air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) designed to revolutionise air-to-air combat. The weapon has been developed by MBDA to combat common threats facing the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Sweden
The Meteor is powered by a unique rocket-ramjet motor that gives it far more engine power for much longer than any other missile.
Besides the missile systems, the Rafale jets will come with various India-specific modifications, including Israeli helmet-mounted displays, radar warning receivers, low-band jammers, 10-hour flight data recording, infra-red search and tracking systems among others
The Rafale's glass cockpit houses a a hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS), with a right-handed side-stick controller and a left-handed throttle.. The cockpit also has a wide-angle display and the avionics are supplied by Thales Avionique which provides necessary data regarding aircraft control and firing cues.
The fighter pilot gets a helmet-mounted sight. And there is a camera and on-board recorder that records the display while the mission is being carried out.
The Rafale is fitted with twin 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 aircraft also has the facility for a buddy-buddy refuelling that allows one fighter aircraft to lend its fuel to another while still in fight.
Some of the cutting edge technology that they've used includes single-piece bladed compressor disks and single-crystal turbine blades as well as ceramic coatings which is why it's so popular. The engines push the Rafale to attain a high speed of 1.8 Mach (1912 kmph) and a range of more than 3700 km with 3 drop tanks.
The Rafale's Air Force version is known to carry payloads of more than 9t. And the naval version can carry 13t. The weapons are across the range of Sidewinder, Apache, Harpoon, ALARM, PGM100, Magic and Mica. It can carry anti-ship and air-to-air missiles and the SCALP missile can shoot targets on land over 300 kms away. It can even aim at eight different targets at the same time. It's got a twin gun pod as well as a 30mm cannon which can fire over 2500 rounds in a minute. The bird is also equipped with technology that enables laser guidance for missiles.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore.
Wing span: 10.90 m
Length: 15.30 m
Heigh: t5.30 m
Max. thrust: 2 x 7.5 t
Limit load factors: -3.2 g / +9 g
Max. speed: M = 1.8 / 750 knots
Approach speed: less than 120 knots
Landing ground run: 450 m (1,500 ft) without drag-chute
Service ceiling: 50,000 ft
Overall empty weight: 10 t (22,000 lbs) class
Max. take-off weight: 24.5 t (54,000 lbs)
Fuel:(internal): 4.7 t (10,300 lbs)
Fuel (external): up to 6.7 t (14,700 lbs)
External load: 9.5 t (21,000 lbs)
Rafale B F3-R
Rafale C F3-R
Rafale M F3-R
Rafale B, C, M F4 ( first step 4.1, second step 4.2)