The enhanced capabilities sought by India in the Rafale fighter aircraft will be incorporated once the delivery of all 36 jets is completed, The Hindu has reported.
According to the report, Indian Air Force (IAF) has sought 13 India-specific enhancement capabilities that would be incorporated in batches after April 2022.
“After the thirty-sixth jet is delivered, the first 35 aircraft would be modified in India by Dassault Aviation at the rate of seven aircraft a month so that all 36 aircraft would be of the same capability by September 2022,” an official source told the paper.
Maiden flight of the first Rafale for India, which is designated RB 008, was made on 30 October. It will, however, be delivered in April 2022, after all other 35 aircraft are delivered to the IAF.
RB 008 will be used to test and certify the India-specific enhancements, which can only be employed after certification, stated the official.
As per the report, the 13 India-specific enhancements are not present in the Rafale aircraft being operated by other countries. The add-ons will include capabilities like radar enhancement to provide IAF with long-range capability, ‘helmet mounted display’ which enables pilots to counter multiple threats simultaneously.
Ability to start and operate from high altitude airfields, advance infra red search and track sensor and a very potent electronic jammer pod will also be incorporated. The remaining enhancements will be in the avionics of the fighter aircraft.
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