> IAF asks French firm Dassault to integrate Indian weapons on Rafale fighter jets - নিয়মীয়া খবৰ




IAF asks French firm Dassault to integrate Indian weapons on Rafale fighter jets

The Indian Air Force has asked Rafale fighter jet manufacturer Dassault Aviation to integrate Indian made weapons like the ‘Astra Air’ to air missile on the combat aircraft. The move, if implemented could prove to be a big step for the ‘Make in India’ initiative, wherein indigenously made weapons would be integrated into the globally popular fighter jet. 

The French made Rafale Fighter jets are used by many countries including India, France, Egypt, Qatar and many others along with Greece, Croatia, UAE and Indonesia, have placed orders for these planes.

The IAF has been using the Astra Air since 2020. The Indian weapon systems are already integrated into the Su-30 MKI combat aircraft along with the indigenous LCA Tejas.

“The IAF has asked the original equipment manufacturer Dassault Aviation to integrate Indian-made weapons like the Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) and the Astra air-to-air missile with the Rafale which has been in service with the IAF since 2020,” defence officials told news agency ANI.

Along with these DRDO-developed missiles and bombs, the IAF also has plans of integrating multiple indigenously designed weapons by private sector firms including long-range glide bombs with the aircraft in the near future, they said. 

India operates 36 Rafale fighter jets and has already expressed intent to buy 26 Rafale marine aircraft which are to be used by its Navy.

The Indian Air Force top brass have been pushing for indigenous solutions for their war-fighting requirements to be self-reliant, especially in times of conflict.

A lot of weapon systems acquired by the force during the ongoing standoff with China have also been put on the indigenisation path.

The Astra air-to-air missiles are capable of striking targets up to the 100 Km range but very soon this will be extended to 160 KMs in the Astra Mark 2 while the further upgraded version would be one with a strike range of 300 Kms.

The SAAW can also hit targets at 100 Km plus range and its advanced versions are also being developed. 

“The private sector companies have also developed missiles and bombs which can hit targets from long ranges and can be equipped on the Rafale,” the officials said. 

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