IAF wants Rafale jets to be equipped with indigenous weapons

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has reportedly requested the France based Dassault Aviation, to integrate indigenous weapons like ‘Astra air’ to air missile and Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) on the Rafale jets which has been in service with the IAF since 2020.

While, the Astra air-to-air missiles are capable of striking targets up to the 100 Km range and will soon be extended to 160 Km in the Astra Mark 2.

Also, these are expected to be further upgraded with a strike range of 300 Km.

On the other hand, the SAAW can also hit targets at 100 Km plus range and its advanced versions are also being developed.

Besides these DRDO-developed missiles and bombs, the IAF also has plans of integrating multiple indigenously designed weapons by private sector firms including long-range glide bombs with the Rafale combat aircraft in the near future.

Noteworthy, the Indian weapon systems are already integrated into the Su-30 MKI combat aircraft along with the indigenous LCA Tejas.

India operates 36 Rafale fighter jets and has already expressed intent to buy 26 Rafale-M marine aircraft which are to be used by its Navy.