Friday, September 23, 2011

MMRCA, French general interview about the Indian contest

Nuclear capability, a key feature for India ?
The Times of India has published an interview of the French Air Force chief, General Palomeros. When asked about the Rafale Vs Eurofighter contest, the General provides some interesting points :

How does the Rafale match up with the Eurofighter Typhoon, the two finalists of the Indian MMRCA race?

"Rafale demonstrated its full capability during the Libya operations. We had 90 to 95% serviceability as well as reduced maintenance costs of both Rafales and Mirages. During the first three days, French air force was the only air force flying over Libya. We were able to enforce the no-fly zone as well as strike Gaddafi's forces with precision and minimum collateral damage. Rafale's digital reconnaissance pods provided a lot of intelligence in real-time for the strikes.

I do not want to compare fighters but Rafale was designed as a multi-role platform from the very beginning. It has been a real success, as shown in Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere. I must also stress Rafale is nuclear-capable. It has real growth potential. France will be more than happy to develop it with India. It is, of course, up to India to now select the best platform it needs."

First, the General claims that the French Air Force was the only Air Force over Libya during the 3 first days of operations. That's very surprising. Officially the First French fighters were deployed on March 19th and other allied aircrafts were involved the next day. Therefore, if it's not a typo, that would mean that the French fighters were flying over Libya since March 17th for intelligence purpose.

It is worth noting that the General see the fact that the Rafale is a nuclear capable platform as a valuable argument for the MMRCA contest. Besides the ability to carry heavy nuclear missile and fuel tank, the nuclear mission also relies on the rafale capability to avoid Air defense systems and penetrates deep inside the Ennemy territory... a skill that could make the difference when India will make her final choice.

Also read : French Air Force General at Aero India

1 comment:

  1. Of course It is going to be part of Nuclear Triad.

    I can't wait see Rafale in India Colors. I think India will eventually buy around 300 of these (i.e. 200 for IAF and 80-100 for INS