Indian Navy will carry out trials to evaluate Rafale M (Maritime version) fighter for India's aircraft carrier Vikrant

January 5, 2022 Photo(s): By Dassault Aviation
Rafale M (Maritime version)

It has been widely reported that from January 6, 2022, Indian Navy will test the maritime version of the Dassault Rafale fighter jet, the Rafale M for its suitability to operate from aircraft carrier Vikrant. Rafale M will have to be successful in its ability to take off & land from Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) system, similar to the one equipping India’s aircraft carriers. Vikrant is part of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier programme & is likely to be commissioned this year. At present the Indian Navy is looking for replacement of MiG-29K aircraft. If the trials are successful then Indian Navy may lease up to five Rafale M so that Vikrant is commissioned on August 15, 2022 to coincide with the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Indian independence. This evaluation is also part of the larger Multi Role Carrier Borne Fighter (MRCBF) Programme. India is also considering the option of Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet as a possible replacement which has already proven its capability to operate from STOBAR System in the US & the trials in India are likely to be held during March 2022.