Why India chose Dassault Rafale over Eurofighter Typhoon

In AFSB, you might have faced this question ‘Why Rafale over Typhoon’, and you must have answered, but still the IO was not impressed right? Let us today learn nearly every point of why India chose the Dassault beast over the stormy Typhoon.

When India was bidding for a fighter jet that it would induct into the Airforce, India was left with 2 options that were Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon. India chose the 4.5 generation multi-role fighter that is Rafale. In this article, we shall learn about why India chose Rafale over Eurofighter Typhoon.

History behind

Indian Airforce was quite sure that it has to replace its aging fleet of MiG-21 and induct a fighter plane that would become the mainstay of the force for years. After rejecting the US (F-16 and F-18) and the Swedish SAAB Gripen along with the Russian MiG-35, the IAF was left with two options that were Eurofighter and the Dassault Rafale.

Also read: Should India Buy F-35 And What Are The Alternatives?

Many Indian defense analysts questioned IAF’s decision of choosing Rafale over Typhoon as Rafale then, was not purchased by any other country, and Typhoon was acquired by 6 countries. India also had an option of choosing the 5th generation F-35 Lightning II.

As India is facing two enemies simultaneously in the front, IAF didn’t want to delay the acquisition process and even when the fighter squadrons were shrinking. India didn’t buy the fifth-generation fighter aircraft as it would have taken another decade for it to become fully operational and India didn’t have the currency to buy the mighty aircraft.

Now, let us compare the two aircraft and why India ‘French kissed’ the Rafale.

Both Rafale and Eurofighter are twin-engine 4.5 generation aircraft with delta wing configurations which are made up of carbon fiber composites, this makes the aircraft light and has greater fuel efficiency.

Eurofighter contains a 69KN dry thrust engine which outperforms the 50KN engine of Rafale. Eurofighter consists of the CAPTOR which works as a mechanically steered pulse Doppler radar whereas Rafale consists of the PESA radar which can track up to 40 aircraft and engage eight of them simultaneously.

Also read: Comparing Rafale And F-35: Who Will Win?

Eurofighter is an air-to-air superiority fighter whereas India needed an omnirole fighter as it was already having the Su-30 as an air-to-air superiority fighter. Eurofighter has limited air-to-ground combat capabilities whereas Rafale excels in suppressing enemy air defenses and deep strike missions. Rugged terrain and steep slopes are present in the north of the Indian subcontinent where Rafale is mostly needed.

Another major reason why India selected the Rafale over Typhoon was that the French counterpart was readily accepting nuclear changes and the addition of nuclear weapons on Rafale and that it would be part of India’s nuclear triad. Also the French being a single developer of the Rafale was easily approachable for any modifications than approaching the 4 nation made Eurofighter typhoon.

Rafale possesses the capability of being used as an aircraft carrier-based fighter and can play the role of nuclear strike aircraft just like the Sukhoi. The Indian Airforce was very mesmerized by the performance of Mirage 2000 during the Kargil war and was also fascinated by the French support during the war. So they wanted something similar to Mirage 2000. Also, the Indian Airforce possesses the infrastructure of handling Rafale which is operationally and logistically similar to Mirage 2000. If India would have chosen Typhoon, it would cost India another pack of money to build new infrastructure.

Also read: Why Indian Air Force Planes Are GREY?

As Rafale is 100 percent, French, it guarantees India a full technology transfer, in the case of Eurofighter, India would have to deal with four countries namely the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain for the issue of technology transfer. Rafale is way cheaper than Eurofighter which costs around $108 million and Rafale which costs 84 million dollars at the time of signing the deal.

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Siddhant Sandhu

    Blogger at SSBCrackExams, National Cyclist, Ex NCC SUO, Photography, Travelling, International Relations, Sports, Books.

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