Prelims level : Science and Technology Mains level : GS-2 (Polity and Governance)
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Why in News:

  • An election flying squad in Chennai banned the release of a book on the Rafale fighter aircraft scam, the publishing house managed to launch the book by obtaining the nod from the Election Commission of India.


  • The book Nattai Ulukkum Rafale Bera Oozhal social activist S. Vijayan.
  • The election flying squad told that the sale of the book could not be permitted under the model code of conduct.


India has a peculiar defence scenario as the country has one of the largest defence infrastructures and at the same time is one of the largest defence importers in the world.

To overcome the various hurdles of defence sector development and inorder to overcome import dependence, government introduced several measures including defence FDI and promotion of private sector participation.

A major policy is the defence offset policy which has become a chief instrument for India to develop its indigenous defence manufacturing sector. Defence offset means “a supplier places work to an agreed value with firms in the buying country, over and above what it would have brought in the absence of the offset.” Hence under defence offset, a foreign supplier of equipment agrees to manufacture a given percent of his product (in terms of value) in the buying country. This may take place with Technology Transfer.



India in September 2016 inked a direct deal with the French government to purchase 36 new Rafale fighter jets.

Rafale is a twin-engine medium multi-role combat aircraft, manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation. Dassault claims Rafale has ‘Omnirole’ capability to perform several actions at the same time, such as firing air-to-air missiles at a very low altitude, air- to-ground, and interceptions during the same sortie.

The aircraft is fitted with an On-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) which suppresses the need for liquid oxygen re-filling or ground support for oxygen production.

It carry out a wide range of missions: Air-defence/air-superiority, Reconnaissance, close air support dynamic targeting, Air-to-ground precision strike/interdiction, anti-ship attacks, nuclear deterrence, buddy-buddy refuelling.


Rafale provides standoff capability when any country attacks India. An active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar which enables the pilot to look 200 to 400 kms away. It gives long range precision strike capability; the pilot can detect enemy aircraft and share the information and also destroy the targets.

The 4th generation Aircraft capabilities involve Situational awareness in which Aircraft has got those sensors which enable the pilot to be aware situationally and detect the enemy Aircraft for which the Rafale has AESA radar.

The weapons package includes Meteor radar guided Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile considered the best in the class with range of over 150 km and Scalp long range air to ground missiles. The Rafale Aircraft will give India a superior Nuclear Strike capability and add to the existing nuclear strike capability of Sukhoi Su-30 and Mirage-2000.


Under the current agreement, the 36 Rafale procurement offset proposal supports the

‘Make in India’ initiative of the Indian Government through Article 12 of the Inter-


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