Russia open to arming Indian Rafale
While the Indian Air Force (IAF) sets its highest hopes on the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contract being signed this financial year amidst receding chances, Russia, one of the five bidders has said it would be willing to integrate Russian weapons on the Rafale if India so desires. Russia’s largest guided weapons house, said Korporatsia Takticheskogo Raketnogo Vooruzheniya’s (KTBP) Chief Boris Obnosov.
At the recent MAKS 2013 show in Zhukovsky, Obnosov is quoted by the Russian Embassy’s Russia and India Report to have said, “These include long–, medium– and short-range air-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, guided aviation bombs and a large spectrum of submarine weapons. By their performance characteristics they are as good as if not better than best Western analogues.” While the 18 flyaway aircraft being contracted will come integrated with standard issue weapons build by MBDA and Sagem, the MMRCA tender makes it compulsory for the platform to be capable of taking on missiles specific by the Indian Air Force (IAF) as well. Sources inform SP’s that the IAF hasn’t finalised its weapons fit for the Rafale on this option in question.