New Delhi: As India and France inch closer to seal the contract for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force, details have emerged on the weapon systems that the plane will carry onboard.
The most special of the equipment that will come along with the supersonic jets is the new-age beyond visual range missile 'Meteor'.
As per defence experts, most air forces in the world, including those of Pakistan and China, have no answer for the 'Meteor'.
The missile, that can chase targets as far away as 100 kilometers at speeds close to Mach 4.
As per a report in 'War is Boring', a leading international website on latest weapon technologies, here's how the 'Meteor' works: “A conventional solid-fuel booster accelerates the Meteor after launch, like most air-to-air missiles. But while roaring through the air, the missile opens up a chute, allowing air to rush into the engine, which heats up the oxygen and propels the supersonic missile to Mach 4.”
“Not only that, the missile can adjust how much oxygen it breathes, conserving energy during the coast phase, only to take a deep breath in the final moments before hitting a target.”
“The result is that if a targeted plane tries to dodge out of the way, Meteor can overcome it by summoning more thrust, and thus more maneuverability, during those precious few seconds.”
Meanwhile, the much-anticipated contract for 36 Rafale fighter jets is likely to be sealed soon as both the countries have finalized the details for the deal, which will cost about Euro 7.87 billion.
Government sources said the cost, offsets and service details have
been finalized and the work is being done on the Inter-Governmental Agreement for the deal.
A "working team" from France is already in town with their own translators and are going through the contract, running into several thousand pages, with their Indian counterparts.
The sources said that once the IGA is firmed up, the document will go back to the Cabinet Committee on Security for a final clearance.
They said that India has been able to save over Euro 590 million+ through tough price negotiations which began in January this year.
Though the deal could have been firmed up earlier, issues like pricing and offsets took time as India wanted a better contract.
Following intervention by Prime Minister Modi late last year, France agreed for a 50 per cent offset clause.
This means creating business worth at least three billion Euros for Indian companies, both big and small, and generating thousands of jobs in India through offsets.
A high-level delegation from France could come down for the formal signing of the contract, French sources said.
The delivery for the fighter aircraft is expected to begin in 2019, with an annual inflation capped at 3.5 per cent.
With PTI inputs