India set to resurrect ‘101 squadron’ at Hashimara base with 4 more Rafale jets

With one other batch of 4 Rafale fighters touchdown at Ambala from Merignac-Bordeaux airbase in France on Might 19-20, the Indian Air Power (IAF) is all set to resurrect the 101 “Falcons of Chamb” squadron at Hashimara in West Bengal at the same time as advance models have already moved into the brand new base.

Whereas the precise date of Rafale touchdown in India can be decided by availability of mid-air refuellers of the UAE Air Power and climate situations, it’s fairly evident that the complete deliveries of 36 plane can be accomplished effectively earlier than April 2022 as introduced by Union defence minister Rajnath Singh in Parliament. On the finish of Might, the IAF can have 24 Rafale fighter jets in India, with one other seven saved for coaching functions in France and solely 5 extra to be handed over earlier than the 2 squadrons are full.

The final 5 plane could also be delivered within the second-half of 2021 as Egypt has positioned an order of 30 Rafale fighters.

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The house base of second squadron is getting readied at Hashimara with repaved prolonged runways, ammunition depots, blast pens and personnel lodging other than upkeep bays. “The Hashimara air base has been completely revamped and ought to be operational by finish of this month. This would be the peace time location of the plane however in warfare instances, the fighters will function from wherever within the nation as per warfare plans,” stated an Air Marshal.

With India doubtless to purchase extra front-line fighters to finish the stalled requirement of 126 medium multi-role fight plane (MMRCA), the French haven’t solely provided scorching engine expertise to India however are additionally prepared to collectively develop prolonged vary and functionality Hammer air-to-ground missile underneath the Atmanirbhar Bharat route. French engine producer Safran has already conveyed the provide for collectively growing plane engines upto 100 Kilo Newton thrust in addition to share the recent engine expertise which Indian allies within the west are reluctant to share.

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France has additionally provided to share and collectively develop expertise for longer vary and heavier Extremely Agile and Manoeuvrable Munition Prolonged Vary (Hammer) missile which is at the moment a part of the weapons bundle on the Indian Rafale. With a spread of over 70 kilometres, the Hammer weapon may be guided on to the goal utilizing GPS, Inertial Navigation and Infra-red seeker with the potential to regulate to focus on location mid-air utilizing maps for course correction. The most recent model of this weapon has a 1,000 kilogram bomb and with laser steering expertise.

“The Rafale bundle is a game-changer within the area as none of India’s adversaries have such functionality to wage warfare past visible vary,” stated an IAF Air Marshal.

India ordered 36 warplanes from France (equal of two squadrons) in 2016 for 59,000 crore underneath a government-to-government deal.

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