Rafale Aircraft: Untold Story–Part I’, written by Cdr Jayakrishnan N Nair (Retd), is first in the three-part series that discusses various characteristics of the aircraft and gives readers an opportunity to know more about this war machine.
‘Rafale Aircraft’ became popular during the run up to the last Parliament election and thereafter. Thanks to the politicians who were instrumental in making it popular. The aircraft further climbed the popularity chart after the recent orders from the Supreme Court.
‘Rafale’ means ‘gust’ in French language, a name that suits to the very basic character of this Aircraft which has the features of a Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). Though familiar with the name ‘Rafale’, we have not ventured enough to know more about this war machine. This is an attempt to explore Rafale and to understand some ‘untold’ facts about it.
During the eighth edition of ‘Aero India’ held in Bangalore in February 2011, prima facie, the fighter appeared to the author little small in size compared to its counterparts. But during the air display, the aircraft was found very agile, manoeuvrable with an extra thrust.
Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of Rafale, believes that the shortlisting of Rafale by the highly professional Indian Air Force pilots is a major milestone for this aircraft. Apart from the Indian Air Force, Egypt and Qatar have placed orders for this versatile machine. The UAE is also in the process of acquiring Rafale.
Views expressed by the author are personal and need not reflect or represent the views of Centre for Public Policy Research