Ladakh Standoff: China in shock as IAF uses Rafale in night exercises near LAC

The 1,597 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh sector has seen massive military mobilisation from both sides for the past several months as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has transgressed into Indian territory at several places.

Ladakh Standoff: China in shock as IAF uses Rafale in night exercises near LAC
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Leh: The Indian Air Force (IAF), which recently received the first batch of Rafale fighter aircraft, has already started night flying exercises with the state-of-the-art fighter planes near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Himachal Pradesh.


With the military confrontation with China looking all set to continue into the winter months, these exercises are considered to be important as far as operational readiness of the IAF is concerned.


The 1,597 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh sector has seen massive military mobilisation from both sides for the past several months as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has transgressed into Indian territory at several places.


The IAF is scheduled to receive 36 Rafale aircraft, of which 18 will be deployed at the airbase in Ambala. The first batch of five Rafale fighter planes arrived at the IAF base in Ambala on July 29.




A government official said the top-level fighter jets have been kept away from the LAC, so that their frequency cannot be identified by the PLA radars in Chinese the occupied Aksai Chin. Military aviation experts say that the Rafale aircraft can also be used for training in the Ladakh sector, as they are all equipped with combat programmable signal processors (PSPs) or the ability to change signal frequencies in the event of hostilities.


“Even though the Chinese PLA have placed their electronic intelligence radars on mountain tops in the occupied Aksai Chin area for a clear line of sight, the war-time signature of Rafale will be different from that in practice mode. The PLA aircraft detection radars are good as they have been manufactured keeping the US air force in mind,” an expert was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

Rafale jets are equipped with Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missiles, Mica multi-mission to air-to-air missiles and SCALP deep-strike cruise missiles. These weapons will allow Rafale fighter pilots to attack airborne and ground targets from deadlock limits and fill a significant capacity gap.


Meteor missiles have a no-escape zone, which is three times higher than existing medium-range air-to-air missiles. The missile system, powered by a unique rocket-ramjet motor, has a range of over 120 km. The SCALP is a cruise missile with pinpoint terminal accuracy through its highly accurate and target detection system.


The Indian Navy has also been asked to monitor the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean to ensure that Chinese PLA warships are kept off the Indian coastline and island areas.


The Indian Air Force (IAF) no longer wants to give China any chance and is keeping a watch on the Lhasa Gonggar airbase in Tibet and the Hotan airbase in Xinjiang.











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