India had bought 36 twin engine fighter planes from Dassault Rafale through an inter governmental agreement signed in October 2016. Out of them, 5 fighters landed at IAF airbase in Ambala on 29th July,2020. According to our Defence Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh, these fighter planes will make IAF much stronger to deter any threat that may be posed on our country.
All you need to know about Dassault Rafale-
- French-made jet fighters exhibited in the workshops of Dassault-Aviation.
- Twin-engine, multirole fighters.
- Can be armed with air-to-air, air-to-ground and anti-ship missiles.
- Ability to fly on autopilot in a terrain- following mode in all weather conditions.
- Good flying performance and its weapons, radar and other sensors are among the best in the world.
- Has been used in operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.
- Can reach almost double the speed of sound, with top speed of 1.8 Mach.
- Each aircraft has 14 storage stations for weapons.
- Produced in 1986 and introduced in 2001.
- Approximate cost- ₹670 Crore.
The Rafale Deal Controversy-
The controversy surrounding the deal in 2016-2017 revolved around the manner it was abruptly changed from an initial proposal to acquire 126 aircrafts with technology transfer to a much smaller deal involving 36 fighter jets.
The crucial questions that were asked and debated revolved around the pricing of the aircraft and the lack of a sovereign guarantee from France. In December 2018, after lengthy and sometimes contentious hearings, the Supreme Court dismissed a clutch of petitions by giving a clean chit to Narendra Modi’s government.
In November 2019, the apex court put a final end to the legal part by dismissing all petitions that called for a review of its decision. The judgment was delivered by a three-judge bench headed by then Chief Justice Of India Mr. Ranjan Gogoi.