Media reports which claimed that Pakistani pilots were being trained to fly Rafale jets as part of an exchange program with their Qatari counterparts have been dismissed as fake news by French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler.
The reports had claimed that, “The first batch of pilots trained for Qatar in November 2017 are actually Pakistani exchange officers” which send various Indian observers in a tizzy.
Pakistan has actively engaged in various military exercises with Middle Eastern countries for decades. Qatar, like India, is also a regular customer of Dassault, who’s Mirage-2000s, among others, are also being used by its Air Force.
With India expected to receive its first batch of Rafales, starting September; Pakistani pilots getting a know how of the technical semantics would have been a cause of concern for India.
Though there are around 14 India specific customised upgrades in the Rafales meant specifically for the Indian Air Force; The Thales built RBE-2 AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radars, Meteor ultra long range air-to-air missiles, a cutting edge defensive suite called SPECTRA are some of the common factors in the Rafale jets built for both India and Qatar.
It also opened up the possibility of the Pakistanis to come up with counter measures such as - staying out of the range of Meteor missiles, stitching together counter manoeuvre stunts, evolving tactics to outsmart the Rafale and more.
Qatar which has signed up to buy 24 Rafale fighter jets, got the first delivery of its jet on 6 February.
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