Marine version of Rafale successfully test fired
GS Paper - 3 (Defence Technology)
The marine version of the French-made Rafale fighter jet has been successfully flight-tested at a shore-based facility in Goa where conditions similar to that on the indigenously-developed aircraft carrier INS Vikrant were simulated.
- The Rafale-M is pitted against the US-made Super Hornet -- both of which are being evaluated for a possible purchase by the Indian Navy for deployment on the 44,000-tonne INS Vikrant that is undergoing trials in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal for likely commissioning in August.
- Tests were done to check its (Rafale-Marine's) take-off (capability) from the deck of your (India's) carrier and it has done very well.
- India's new aircraft carrier has been designed as a ski-jump launch ship, different from many other such carriers, which use a catapult launch for their jets.
- The aircraft selected by the Indian Navy consequently must be capable of taking off in this fashion, carrying all weapon systems and full fuel load.
- The Rafale-M jet was tested for 12 days last month at Goa's INS Hansa facility using a 283 metre mock ski-jump facility.
- The ski-jump ramp uses what naval experts call short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) technology.
- Boeing's Super Hornet or F/A-18 jet, which is also being offered to India, is expected to undergo similar tests at INS Hansa next month.