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Indian Navy tries out Rafale for carrier operations

7th January 2022 - 18:34 GMT | by Rahul Bedi in Delhi

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A French Navy Rafale M fighter is seen here landing aboard the American carrier USS George H.W. Bush. (Photo: USN)

The Indian Navy is beginning practical tests of foreign aircraft as it seeks a new carrier-borne fighter. First up is the Rafale.

The Indian Navy (IN) is scheduled to begin flight trials of Dassault’s Rafale Maritime (M) fighter from 6 January, as part of an endeavour to acquire multirole carrier-borne fighters for the 37,500t indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

IN sources said trials of the French fighter would be conducted over 12 days at its Shore-Based Test Facility (SBTF), which has a 283m-long mock-up ski jump facility at INS Hansa in Goa.

These trials aim to meet the IN’s January 2017 requirement to import 57 carrier-borne fighters, a number that sources said could be reduced to 36 platforms due to budgetary constraints.

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