India Looking to Buy SCALP cruise Missile for Rafale-M Fighters; Negotiations Underway

India is inching towards the final steps of procuring France based SCALP cruise missile which showcased compellingly in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

The French SCALP cruise missile – known as the Storm Shadow in England is anticipated to equip the 26 Dassault Rafale-Marine [Rafale-M] fighter jets that the Indian Navy is procuring from Dassault Aviation. 

 As of now, discussions are underway between India and France over the armament of the Rafale-M.

Evidently, the French contingent appears to be unopposed to equipping Indian combat aircraft to become a formidable force in Asia.

Notably in October 2023, India has given the Letter of Request (LoR) to the French Government for the procurement of 26 Rafale-M (Marine) fighter aircraft for the Indian Navy under a government-to-government deal.

Also, worth mentioning that the deal worth $4.5 Billion approx. was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in July this year.

Further, as per the proposal, the Indian Navy will get 22 single-seated Rafale Marine aircraft along with four trainer aircraft.

These will be used aboard India’s indigenously developed aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. 

About Rafale-M

Rafale-M is a single-seater aircraft for carrier operations. The envisaged roles include air-to-surface attack, shipborne air defence, aerial refueling, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, etc.

The requirements are flexible, including single- or multi-engine, short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) or catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR), or both.

Armaments are to include a gun plus four beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles and two all-aspect air-to-air missiles.

About Scalp Cruise Missile

Storm Shadow / Scalp is the air-launched long range, conventionally armed, deep strike weapon, designed to meet the demanding requirements of pre-planned attacks against high value fixed or stationary targets.

Further, able to be operated in extreme conditions, the weapon offers operators a highly flexible, deep-strike capability based around a sophisticated mission planning system.

Noteworthy, Storm Shadow / Scalp has been put into operations with the Royal Air Force and the French Air Force in 2003 and was used in the Gulf, Iraq and Libya.

The weapon is now in service with three other nations giving unrivalled deep strike capability.

Further, it is worth mentioning that the Storm Shadow / Scalp crusie missile is operated from Tornado, Rafale, Mirage 2000 and in the future from Eurofighter Typhoon.


  •  Weight: 1300 kg

  •  Length: 5.10 m

  •  Range: In excess of 250 km