In a bid to further boost the combat capabilities of its Rafale fighter aircraft that are slated to arrive in India this month, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be procuring the HAMMER missiles from France under the emergency acquisition powers given to the armed forces by the government, reports ANI.
According to the report, the HAMMER (Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range) is a medium range air-to-ground weapon that has the capability to hit any types of target at the range of around 60-70 km.
The weapon has been designed by France's defence firm Safran for French Air Force and Navy.
The order is being processed under the emergency financial powers given to the Indian Armed Forces by the Ministry of Defence.
"The order for the HAMMER missiles is being processed and the French authorities have agreed to supply them to us at a short notice for our Rafale combat aircraft," government sources were quoted as saying.
Due to the urgent requirement for these missiles by the IAF, the French authorities are likely to deliver the systems to India from their existing stock, where they were meant for some other customer, the source said.
The weapon is expected to further boost the firepower of the Rafale fighter jets, which are scheduled to arrive in India by the end of July.
The HAMMER missiles will increase India’s capability to take down any bunkers or hardened shelters in any type of terrain including the mountainous locations such as Eastern Ladakh.
The first five of the 36 Rafale fighter aircraft would start arriving in India from France on 29 July. Their advanced weaponry including the long-range SCALP and Meteor missiles would have reached India before their touchdown.
The delivery of the fighter jets, that were scheduled to arrive in India in May, was delayed due to the Covid-19 situation in both countries.
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