Indian government in 2016 inked a direct deal with the French government to purchase 36 new Rafale fighter jets.The Opposition parties have alleged that the government bought 36 Rafale fighter aircraft at a much higher price than the one that was being negotiated for 126 aircraft by the previous government.
Rafale is a twin-engine medium multi-role combat aircraft.It is manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation.
Dassault claims Rafale has ‘Omnirole’.This is the capability to perform several actions at the same time.It can carry out both air-to-ground as well as air-to-air attacks.It can also carry out interceptions during the same flight.
The aircraft is fitted with an on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS).It suppresses the need for liquid oxygen re-filling or ground support for oxygen production.
It carry out a wide range of missions: (a)Air-defence/air-superiority (b)Reconnaissance (military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features) (c)close air support dynamic targeting (d)Air-to-ground precision strike (e)anti-ship attacks (f)nuclear deterrence and (g)buddy-buddy refueling.