India’s Rafale vs China’s J20 and Pakistan’s F16

  • Calling it a “historic day” for India’s national security, Defence Minister said the induction of Rafale jets is important given the “atmosphere being created along the borders.”
  • The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
  • The next batch of the jets is likely to arrive in October, and the last of the 36 aircraft will come to India by the end of 2021.
  • The state-of-the-art 4.5 Generation Rafale jet can reach almost double the speed of sound, with a top speed of 1.8 Mach.
  • With its multi-role capabilities, including electronic warfare, air defence, ground support and in-depth strikes, the Rafale lends air superiority to the Indian Air Force.
  • India’s last major acquisition of fighter planes was 23 years ago, when the Sukhois were imported from Russia.
  • The IAF is down to 31 fighter squadrons against the authorised strength of at least 42.