'The on-going VSHORAD competition is relevant to all three Indian armed forces. We are promoting Mistral MANPADS as an ideal, truly man-portable system’
MBDA country head – India, Loïc Piedevache

Loic PiedevachePlease give us the details of the Rafale weapons package and the timelines of the deliveries to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in this programme?

We can’t go into details of the weapons package for the Rafale contract even if it has been widely reported in the Indian press. In this respect, it is premature to talk about timelines. Suffice it to say that this latest generation aircraft will be entering service with the very best air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons available. The IAF is familiar with the MICA as it is now being delivered for the upgrade of Mirage 2000. With its unique feature of two interchangeable seekers, IR and RF, MICA covers the full range of air-to-air combat requirements from short range to beyond visual range.

Meteor is well known by air forces around the world and represents a game-changing capability for any combat aircraft. With its throttleable ramjet motor, Meteor manages its fuel consumption to ensure that at the most important phase of the engagement, namely the intercept phase, the missile has maximum power available for maximum agility, speed and hence, lethality. This gives Meteor a No Escape Zone more than three times greater than any other missile in the long Beyond Visual Range class. With developments in air-to-air missile capability being recently announced by India’s neighbours, Meteor will be provided a vital dissuasive force and hence, a crucial addition to the IAF’s inventory.

As a multi-role platform, the IAF’s Rafale will be expected to carry out surgical strikes against high value, hardened and well-defended ground targets. MBDA’s SCALP/Storm Shadow has been designed and tested under combat conditions for just such a role.

What are your ongoing programmes with the Indian Air Force beyond Rafale?

MICA and ASRAAM are two ongoing projects. The first for the Mirage 2000 upgrade and the second for the IAF’s Jaguar bomber. ASRAAM has an excellent ‘snap-up’ capability which is just what a low flying bomber like the Jaguar needs to defend itself against an attacker that will almost certainly have height advantage during an engagement.

The ongoing VSHORAD competition is relevant to all three Indian armed forces and here we are promoting Mistral MANPADS as an ideal, truly man-portable system. With its fire and forget capability we believe it to be the best solution to India’s requirements as well as offering very important ‘Make in India’ advantages.

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