5 Things About the Newly Inducted Rafale Fighter Jet That You Probably Do Not Know!

rafale rajnath singh

'Rafale' is the French word for 'Gust of wind'. The Rafale fighter jet developed by the French company Dassault Aviation is one of the most advanced fighter jets as of now. Dassault advertises it as  twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft equipped with a wide range of weapons. The Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. Hence, the Rafale is referred to as an "omnirole" aircraft by Dassault. It can basically do everything.

Yesterday, France officially handed over the first Rafale fighter jet to India. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh received it in the presence of his French counterpart Florence Parly. India has ordered 36(28 single seater and 8 twin seater) Rafale jets and they are expected to become fully operational by October 2022. This jet is believed to change the entire air defence dynamics of the South-East Asia region. Here are 5 interesting facts about Rafale that you probably do not know!

1. RB 001

The first Rafale that India will receive comes with tail number 'RB 001'. RB stands for the initials of our present Air Force Chief Rakesh Bhadauria who played a very important role in the procurement of the aircraft.

rb 001 rafale

Read more about Air Chief Marshall Rakesh Bhadauria here : Meet Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria || The New Chief of the Indian Air Force

2. Combat Radius

Rafale has a combat radius upto 1800 km depending on missions, external payload, fuel etc. No other fighter plane in the world has a better combat radius than Rafale. Combat Radius basically refers to the maximum distance an aircraft can travel away from its base along a given course with normal load and return without refuelling. Just to put things into perspective, Lahore is 1700 km from Kolkata.
rafale combat radius
Image Source

3. Cockpit

Rafale's cockpit is not like any other cockpit. It is based on the principle of data fusion. Data fusion is the process of integrating multiple data sources to produce more consistent, accurate, and useful information than that provided by any individual data source. Rafale has a central computer that intelligently selects and prioritises information to display to pilots. It makes their work easier and more efficient.
Rafale's Cockpit - Image Source

4. Fire and forget

The Rafale has the fire-and-forget (meaning that these missiles do not need any guidance once the target is set and they have been fired) SCALP air-to-ground cruise missiles that can also hit heavily fortified targets over 300 km away. SCALP missiles are commonly called Storm Shadow. Even Pakistan and China do not have any such missiles.
rafale scalp
SCALP Missile - Image Source

5. Battle Hardened

The Dassault Rafale has taken in many major conflicts all over the world. From 2006 to 2011, French Air Force and Navy Rafale fighters were engaged in countless combat missions in Afghanistan where they demonstrated a high proficiency. In 2011, French Air Force and French Navy Rafale fighters carried out various operations in Benghazi and Tripoli. French Air Force Rafales have helped destroy enemy infrastructure and support friendly troops in contact in Mali.

More recently, Rafales were engaged in support of peace-keeping operations in the Central African Republic, and as part of a wide international coalition in Iraq.

Four Rafales undertook the longest air raid in French Air Force history by hitting 21 targets in less than 9 hours and 35 minutes airborne. This just proves the capabilities of the fighter aircraft and how useful can they be for India in the future.

Rafale jet


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Hi, I am Pranjay Varshney. I am pursuing my B.Sc. (Hons) in Electronic Science from University of Delhi. My dream is to join the Indian Army as an officer and I am very passionate about it. I like to write articles about Indian Armed Forces and various political and economic affairs. I spend my free time doing gymnastics, listening to music or watching movies.

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The Radical - Information That Matters: 5 Things About the Newly Inducted Rafale Fighter Jet That You Probably Do Not Know!
5 Things About the Newly Inducted Rafale Fighter Jet That You Probably Do Not Know!
Rafale' is the French word for 'Gust of wind'. The Rafale fighter jet developed by the French company Dassault Aviation is one of the most advanced fighter jets as of now. Dassault advertises it as twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft equipped with a wide range of weapons. The Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. Hence, the Rafale is referred to as an "omnirole" aircraft by Dassault. It can basically do everything.
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