Dassault Aviation & India
A common history: The support of DASSAULT combat aircraft in the defence of India.
India is DASSAULT AVIATION’S combat aircraft oldest export customer: from the TOOFANI supplied in the previous mid-century, the MYSTERE IV, the naval ALIZE, the JAGUAR manufactured under license by HAL, to the MIRAGE 2000, the relationship between India and DASSAULT AVIATION has proven its robustness and longevity for more than half a century and DASSAULT AVIATION aircraft has contributed proudly to India’ s defence.
In June 1953, India ordered 71 OURAGANS and completed this order in March 1954 with an additional 33 second-hand OURAGANS reaching a total of 104 aircraft. The relationship between France and India in military aviation so began with the Indian OURAGANS, named TOOFANI, Hurricane in Hindi, and was pursued until 1967.
In 1957, 104 MYSTERE IV A joined the TOOFANI and stayed operational in the IAF until 1973.
In 1960, to create a carrier-based ASW and Reconnaissance squadron aboard the newly purchased aircraft carrier "Vikrant", twelve Breguet Br-1050 ALIZE ASW Turboprop aircraft were purchased and later on in 1966-67 two more ALIZE were released and transferred to the INAS 310 Squadron (August 1968), as attrition replacements.
In 1978, the Dassault-Breguet/BAC JAGUAR was chosen after an evaluation process. 120 aircraft joined the IAF coming part from Europe for the first ones and build under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the rest.
In 1982 and 1986, the IAF ordered a total of 42 single seat (H) and 7 dual seat (TH) MIRAGE 2000 aircraft and 10 more (4 H and 6 TH) in 2000. Three squadrons Tigers, Battle Axes and Wolfpack, at Gwalior, operate the fleet. For many years they have been highly regarded in the IAF, being a stable weapon platform and having a good safety record. In July 2011, the Indian authorities awarded DASSAULT AVIATION and THALES, to upgrade the fleet, with the latest generation equipments and systems .
Today, DASSAULT AVIATION and its partners, SAFRAN AIRCRAFT ENGINES and THALES, Organized in a joint venture, RAFALE International, are committed to pursue this extraordinary long-standing cooperation with India by proposing the RAFALE new generation Omnirole fighter that has been short-listed by the Indian authorities in April 2011, to fulfill Indian needs.
Incorporating the most advanced technologies within an open and highly adaptive architecture, The RAFALE Omnirole fighter is also able to perform all types of mission in both stand-alone and combined operations, by day or by night, in all weather conditions, bringing an unprecedented level of flight safety and strategic flexibility.
Being interoperable and compatible with current and planned armaments, the RAFALE Omnirole fighter, that replaces several former types of aircraft with an ongoing commitment for 294 from the French government, is slated to be the French Armed Forces prime combat aircraft until 2040 at least.
Delivered to the French Air Force in 2006, "Combat Proven" in Afghanistan where it has been successfully deployed for the first time in March 2007 and engaged again over Libya since March 2011 where it has autonomously carried out the whole spectrum of high-intensity combat operations, it demonstrated its outstanding capabilities in a real war environment.
Today, The RAFALE Omnirole Fighter is fully mature to meet Indian Air Force's requirements and to continue to support Indian defence and security for the next decades and offers a growth potential that will also allow to co-develop any future answers to potential needs of the Air Force in the coming decades.