Incorporate Indian armaments on Rafale fighter fighters, IAF asks French firm Dassault

Share this post on:

New Delhi, 23 July: The Indian Air Force has urged French firm Dassault Aviation to incorporate indigenous weaponry like the ‘Astra air’ to air missile on the Rafale combat aircraft, which could be a significant triumph for ‘Make in India’ in defence and also open the worldwide market for desi weapons.

Many countries, including India, France, Egypt, Qatar, and others, as well as Greece, Croatia, the UAE, and Indonesia, have placed orders for these planes.

“The IAF has asked Dassault Aviation, the original equipment manufacturer, to integrate Indian-made weapons like the Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) and the Astra air-to-air missile with the Rafale, which has been in service with the IAF since 2020,” military officials said.

Along with these DRDO-developed missiles and bombs, the IAF expects to integrate several indigenously built weaponry, including long-range glide bombs, with aircraft in the near future.

According to industry insiders, given the capabilities and cost of Indian armament systems, there might be a large market for them if they are incorporated into Rafale. Indian armament systems have already been integrated into the Su-30 MKI combat aircraft, as well as the indigenous LCA Tejas.

India already employs 36 Rafale fighter planes and has previously stated its intention to purchase 26 Rafale marine aircraft for use by its Navy.

The senior brass of the Indian Air Force have been pushing for indigenous solutions to their war-fighting requirements in order to remain self-sufficient, particularly during times of crisis.

Many military systems obtained by the army during the continuing conflict with China have also been indigenized.

The Astra air-to-air missiles can hit targets up to 100 kilometres away, but this will soon be expanded to 160 kilometres in the Astra Mark 2, with a further enhanced version capable of striking targets up to 300 kilometres away.

The SAAW can also kill targets at distances of up to 100 km, and improved variants are being developed. “Private sector companies have also developed missiles and bombs that can hit targets from long distances and can be equipped on the Rafale,” according to authorities.