Friday, May 24, 2024

Rafale-M Scores Over Super Hornet In Navy Deal Race

By Vaibhav Agrawal

Rafale-M, manufactured by French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation has come up as the frontrunner to win a huge contract from the Indian Navy for around 27 fighters, leaving behind F/A-18 Super Hornet produced by US firm Boeing.

Sources in the defence and security domain have suggested that the Indian Navy has already submitted a detailed report to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with regards to the performance of the Rafale-M ( which in marine version of the fighter aircraft already in use with the Indian Air Force) & Super Hornets.

French manufacturer Dassault Aviation  and American firm Boeing had carried out operational demonstrations of the Rafale-M and Super Hornets respectively, showcasing the Ski-jumps which stands as crucial take-off capability, from the shore-based test facility based at INS Hansa in Goa, for the demonstration of their ability to operate from Indian aircraft carriers.

Sources have revealed that the report from the Naval Headquarters to the MoD states the “positives” only, and that Rafale-M has successfully met all criterias.

After a detailed analysis by the naval headquarters on the performance by both aircraft, the aforementioned report to the MoD was sent. A ‘trial report’ was prepared by those undertaking the tests and was sent to the naval headquarters for detailed analysis on performance and shortlisting of aircraft.

Sources said both aircraft had to be brought up and down at a certain angle when asked whether the lift size of India’s indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant would be an issue. Unlike the Rafale, while the wings of Super Hornets fold these still had to be brought up and down at a certain angle. Both aircraft also have a separate process in which the wings fold.


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