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.

What

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The ski-jump ramp uses what naval experts call short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) technology.
  7. 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.