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India reportedly approved purchase of 26 French Rafale M fighter jets.

| 2023

According to information published by the New Indian Express on March 22, 2023, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to clear the multi-billion dollar acquisition of 26 Rafale Marine fighters.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French Dassault Rafale M fighter jet. (Picture source: US DoD)

The Rafale M is a French twin-engine, delta-wing, multirole combat aircraft designed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation. It is a naval variant of the Rafale family, specifically developed for the French Navy to operate from aircraft carriers. The "M" in Rafale M stands for "Marine," which indicates its naval capability.

First introduced in 2001, the Rafale M is known for its versatility, agility, and advanced avionics. The aircraft is designed to perform various missions, including air superiority, interception, reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike, and nuclear deterrence.

The Rafale M fighter jet boasts impressive dimensions, with a length of 15.27 meters (50.1 feet), a wingspan of 10.80 meters (35.4 feet), and a height of 5.34 meters (17.5 feet).

It has an empty weight of 10,600 kg (23,400 lb) and a maximum takeoff weight of 24,500 kg (54,000 lb). In terms of performance, the Rafale M can reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 (1,912 km/h or 1,188 mph), has a range of over 3,700 km (2,300+ mi) when equipped with three drop tanks, and a service ceiling of 15,235 meters (50,000 feet).

The aircraft is powered by two Snecma M88-2 turbofans, which produce 50 kN (11,250 lbf) of dry thrust and 75 kN (16,900 lbf) with afterburner.

The Rafale M can carry a wide range of weapons, including air-to-air missiles (such as MICA and Meteor), air-to-ground missiles (such as SCALP-EG and AASM), anti-ship missiles (such as Exocet and ANF), and a 30mm GIAT 30 DEFA cannon.

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