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Indian Navy Looking To Buy SCALP Long Range Cruise Missile For Rafale-M Fighters, Fighters, Submarines, Aircraft Carriers; Negotiations Underway

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Indian Navy Looking To Buy SCALP Long Range Cruise Missile For Rafale-M Fighters, Fighters, Submarines, Aircraft Carriers; Negotiations Underway


The SCALP / Storm Shadow

India is inching towards the final steps of procuring a formidable armament, showcased compellingly in the Ukraine conflict. The French SCALP cruise missile – known as the Storm Shadow in England – that succeeded in annihilating a Russian submarine and made a significant impact on the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters, is anticipated to equip the 26 Dassault Rafale-Marine [Rafale-M] fighter jets.

As reported by ET, insider sources in India reveal ongoing discussions between New Delhi and Paris 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.

Ludovic Dumont, the esteemed General Delegate of MBDA India, has announced with assurance that his company is prepared to supply India with its advanced missile system. Set to supersede some of the older MiG-29Ms still in operation, the Rafale-M stands as a fresh addition to their naval arsenal. Moreover, India’s recently commissioned aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, is ready to accommodate 26 of these state-of-the-art French fighter jets.

What Will SCALP Guarantee?

It’s no coincidence that the Indian Ministry of Defence is showing interest in equipping their Rafale fighter jets with SCALPs, especially given the platform they will be launched from.

The French Rafales boast the ability to carry two SCALP missiles. In contrast, the Rafale-M has a payload restriction, limiting it to a solitary SCALP unit. Despite this limitation, the use of an aircraft carrier as the launch pad for a Rafale-M extends its range, surpassing that of a Rafale on land. This terrestrial Rafale is further limited in range by the necessity of avoiding proximity to the ‘presumed front line’.

Despite its limitations, the Rafale-M combined with the aircraft carrier’s range becomes capable of striking any adversarial target. When considering potential targets, it’s particularly pertinent to refer to nations like Pakistan or China.

The Indian Rafale-M Is Special

You have India, anxiously seeking ways to hold its own against China. Why? China is swiftly amassing an impressive arsenal, complete with aircraft carriers and fighter jets. All the while, New Delhi is left scrambling for options.

Interestingly, a majority of China’s fighter jets, J-20 being the exceptional case, are modelled after the Soviet Su-30. These aircraft are not just heavy but also incredibly versatile and well-equipped. The balance of power is certainly tipping towards Beijing, and India is acutely aware of it.

This is the reason why New Delhi favoured the Rafale over the American F/A-18 Super Hornet. The US did not grant the permissions that France did. Specifically, the Indian Rafales have the capacity for “nuclear delivery”. In other words, these aircraft are designed to carry nuclear weapons.

The French authorities gave all required permissions and adjustments for incorporating nuclear weapons. This provides a substantial upgrade to the fleet: the capacity to launch long-range nuclear warhead cruise missiles. When combined with the might of an aircraft carrier, which essentially acts as a movable airfield, this allows us to project power straight into the Pacific.

According to resources from India, two key operational features significantly enhance the Indian Rafale’s functionality: a potent optical system capable of detecting stealth aircraft and a nuclear delivery capability. These components are particularly vital in the event of a confrontation with the Chinese Navy.

The SCALP cruise missile, also known as Storm Shadow in the United Kingdom, is a long-range, air-launched cruise missile developed by France and the United Kingdom. It is designed to strike high-value targets with pinpoint accuracy.

The SCALP cruise missile has impressive technical characteristics. It has a length of approximately 5.1 meters and a wingspan of around 3 meters. The missile weighs about 1,300 kilograms and is powered by a turbojet engine, which allows it to reach speeds of up to Mach 0.8. It has a range of over 250 kilometers, enabling it to engage targets at a significant distance from the launch aircraft.

One of the key features of the SCALP cruise missile is its warhead. The missile is equipped with a 450-kilogram blast-fragmentation warhead, which is designed to inflict significant damage on its intended target. The warhead is capable of penetrating hardened structures, making it highly effective against fortified targets.





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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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