Nu­clear ca­pa­ble Rafale sweet­ens progress


As fi­nal com­mer­cial ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween In­dia and France pro­ceed on a deal for 126 Das­sault Rafale fight­ers as part of the medium multi-role com­bat air­craft (MMRCA) com­pe­ti­tion, a re­cent event has sweet­ened progress. Last month on June 19, the French Air Force demon­strated a nu­clear de­ter­rent ca­pa­bil­ity by test-fir­ing the MBDA ASMP-A stand off nu­clear ca­pa­ble cruise mis­sile. The mis­sion lasted five hours and in­volved pi­lots from the 113 Air Base con­duct­ing a mid-air re­fu­elling, a high-al­ti­tude cruise phase, and a dived low-al­ti­tude phase to en­ter en­emy ter­ri­tory.

Das­sault Avi­a­tion, it may be noted, was the only one of the six MMRCA firms that ex­plic­itly de­tailed for the IAF its nu­clear de­ter­rent ca­pa­bil­ity along with the test plans. The IAF, in fact, was briefed and kept in the loop about the ASMP-A test.

Das­sault Rafale

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