With a view of East Ladakh, IAF optimizes Rafales all-terrain deep-strike missile – News from India

Faced with the prospect of an enemy on the western and eastern fronts, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has hired the French manufacturer to recalibrate the software on the SCALP long-range cruise missiles on the Rafale fighter aircraft to ensure that the subsonic hits weapon Aim up to 4,000 meters above sea level. The subsonic missile with a range of more than 300 kilometers and a warhead weighing 450 kilograms is part of the weapon suite of the IAF’s Rafale Omni role fighter.

In simple terms, this means that the IAF’s Rafale can destroy targets in mountains and plateaus at 4,000 meters instead of the previous calibration of 2,000 meters. The software was optimized by the rocket manufacturer MBDA in consultation with the top brass of the IAF.

While the next batch of three Rafale fighters is expected to arrive after Republic Day 2021, the plane of India’s close ally with the United Arab Emirates Air Force is slated to airborne with Airbus 330 multipurpose transport tankers en route Ambala air is refueled base. Seven Rafales are currently being used to train IAF pilots in France. The entire fleet of 36 aircraft is expected to reach India by the end of 2021. One squadron of this powerful fighter will be stationed in Ambala and the other at Hasimara Air Force Base, which is located on the Siliguri Corridor.

Storm Shadow / SCALP can be used in extreme conditions and provides IAF with a highly flexible deep strike capability based on a sophisticated mission planning system.

Storm Shadow / SCALP can be used in extreme conditions and provides IAF with a highly flexible deep strike capability based on a sophisticated mission planning system. (Courtesy photo of MBDA)

Rafale carries a Meteor air-to-air missile with a range of more than 100 kilometers, the powerful SCALP or Storm Shadow cruise missiles and the precision-guided hammer ammunition. The SCALP missile is used to target commands, controls, communications, air force bases, ports, power plants, ammunition storage depots, surface ships, submarines, and other high value strategic targets.

Also read: The Indian Rafale fighter aircraft expands its deadly arsenal with a hammer ranged weapon

Although both China and Pakistan have developed air-launched cruise missiles, the SCALP is a unique weapon with a fire-and-forget mechanism. Once the cruise missile is fired by the fighter, it falls into an all-terrain roll between 100 and 130 feet above the ground so as not to be detected by enemy radars and jamming systems. Before the rocket approaches the target, it again reaches a maximum height of 6,000 meters and then falls vertically on the high-quality target. The primary charge penetrates the target first, then the secondary charge blows it to pieces.

With the IAF having to defend on both the fronts and in mountainous terrain on both sides, air force will play a very important role in the worst case. The infantry, apart from the special forces in the air, is used to defend both the line of control (LoC) and the line of actual control (LAC). The range of the SCALP is crucial to reduce the enemy’s combat strength.

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