India has ordered HAMMER Missiles for the Rafale fighter jets. The Indian Air Force is further boosting its offensive capabilities by equipping much-awaited Rafale jets with French HAMMER missiles.
The HAMMER Missiles (Highly Agile and Manoeuvrable Munition Extended Range) modular, rocket-boosted air-to-ground precision-guided weapon series, fitted with INS/GPS or INS/GPS/IIR (imaging infra-red) guidance kits, or with the upcoming INS/GPS/laser guidance and developed by Safran Electronics & Defense.
The order for the HAMMER Missile for Rafale jets with the ability to neutralize any target at the range of around 60-70 km and is being acquired under the emergency powers for acquisition given to the armed forces by the Modi government.
“The order for the HAMMER missiles is being processed and the French authorities have agreed to supply them to us at a short notice for our Rafale combat aircraft,” government sources told ANI. In view of the urgent requirement for these missiles by the Air Force, the French authorities would be delivering the missiles to India from the existing stock meant for some other customer, they said.
India is likely to receive the first batch of six Rafale fighter jets by July 27. The French-origin jets are expected to significantly boost the combat capability of the Indian Air Force.
The first squadron of the jets will be stationed at Ambala air force station, considered one of the most strategically located bases of the IAF. India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around $7.5 Billion.
The second squadron of Rafale jets is expected to be deployed at Hasimara base in West Bengal. The IAF spent around Rs 400 crore to develop infrastructure like shelters, hangars and maintenance facilities at the two base.