Dassault Aviation has released the first ever photographs of India’s second Rafale jet with its photographer G Gosset capturing stunning pictures while it soared through the skies during testing.
Here are the pictures collected and posted by defence website Livefist.
The four pictures capture the breathtaking beauty of the French landscape as well as of the fighter jet.
In the first picture one can see the jet flying close to the french coast above crystal clear emerald waters. The Rafale can also be seen flying over a stretch of lush green forest as the heat from its jet engine can be seen distorting the atmosphere.
This aircraft would be serialised as “RB 002” after current IAF Chief R K S Bhadauria who was instrumental in the India-France negotiations for this deal.
Just yesterday (8 October) India had received its first of 36 Rafale jets at a ceremonyat the French Air Force base in Mérignac. There he had performed the traditional Shashtra Puja on the fighter jet following the delivery.
Later he had flown a sortie in a French Rafale fighter jet which was flown by Dassault’s lead test pilot Philippe Duchateau.
While speaking to the media persons - Singh who became the first Indian Defence Minister to fly the jet - recounted how he had never imagined that he would be flying in a fighter aircraft at supersonic speeds.
Four Rafale jets are set to touch the Indian shores by 2020 and all the 36 fighters are expected to be delivered to India by 2022. Currently a team of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots are in France undergoing training on the jets.
The first Rafale squadron led by Group Captain Harkirat Singh would be raised in Ambala after reviving the legendary Golden Arrows 17 Squadron. Group Captain Singh is a Shaurya Chakra awardee who had safely landed a doomed MiG 21 Bison back in 2008.
The second Rafale squadron would be based at the Hasimara base in West Bengal to protect the country against aggressors on the eastern front.
Rafales May Pack More Punch
Indian Rafale jets would be equipped with state of the art Meteor and Scalp missiles which will provide it a decisive edge over Pakistan. The omnirole aircraft would be equipped with an advanced RBE2 active electronically scanned array radar which allows early detection of targets as well as paints a 3D image of the terrain below.
As reported by Livefist, the Rafale jets may become even deadlier in the future as India currently retains the option to buy AM39 Exocet anti-ship missile and the Thales TALIOS targeting pod, and Sagem AASM Hammer ammunition series.
India may also acquire the FlightSphere pilot’s tablet system which works as a mission and flight planning interface for the pilots.