With the Rafale jets arriving in the country in the middle of a dispute with China, the Indian Air Force is further boosting the capabilities of the combat aircraft by equipping it with the HAMMER missiles from France.
The order for the HAMMER standoff missiles is being processed under the emergency powers for acquisition given to the armed forces by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
"The order for the HAMMER missiles is being processed and the French authorities have agreed to supply them to us at a short notice for our Rafale combat aircraft," government sources told news agency ANI.
All you need to know about the HAMMER missiles:
HAMMER (Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range) is a medium-range air-to-ground weapon designed and manufactured for the French Air Force and Navy initially.
HAMMER missiles have the capability to take out any types of targets at the range of around 60-70 km.
The HAMMER missiles are designed and manufactured by Sagem (Safran group) for the French Air Force and Navy.
First unveiled in Jun2 2007 during the Paris Air Show, HAMMER missiles were also exhibited during the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi in February 2013.
In India, it was exhibited during Defexpo in the capital city of Delhi in February 2014.
Up to six HAMMER missiles can be carried by a Rafale combat fighter. The missiles can engage multiple still or moving targets with high precision.
Meanwhile, five Rafale jets would be arriving in India from France on July 29 and their advanced weaponry including the long-range SCALP and Meteor missiles would have reached India before their touchdown.
The first five Rafale fighter aircraft would start arriving in India by July 29 flown by pilots of the 17 Golden Arrows commanding officer.
The delivery of the aircraft was earlier supposed to have been done by May end but this was postponed by two months in view of the COVID-19 outbreak in India and France.
(with inputs from ANI)
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)