A necessary comparison
According to a report by IANS, the Indian Army is stretched between its northern borders with China where it is locked in multiple standoffs with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, while in the western borders it is busy tackling the increasing cross-border firing and infiltration bids by Pakistan-based terror groups. In either case, it is air power that could tip the balance. The Rafale fighter aircraft is armed with beyond visual range missiles like Meteor, SCALP and MICA, increasing their ability to take on incoming targets from a distance.
Straight from the horse’s mouth
A senior Indian Air Force officer said that Rafale fighter jets would be a major force multiplier. “There would always be a fear factor within the minds of the enemies,” said the officer, adding that even one Indian Rafale fighter can thwart the enemy’s plans. He also explained that India will be supreme in the sky when the Rafale fighter aircraft would enter the theatre.
What China claims
The Chinese PLA Air Force has about 157 fighters and 20 GJ-1/WD-1K precision strike UAVs. China claims that its domestically developed J-10C and J-16 fighter jets are far more advanced than Russia-made Mig-29s, Su-30s and France-made Mirage 2000 jets. It also claims that its J-20 stealth fighter jet has a generational advantage over Indian aircraft, a gap that cannot be fulfilled by any means.