Indian Air Force orders Safran’s Hammer missiles for Rafale fighters


Hammer Missile for Rafale Fighters: Indian Air Force has ordered Hammer missiles produced by French defence and electronics major Safran to equip its Rafale fighters to take on an aggressive China following a nearly three-month long tense military stand-off between the Asian giants.

The order for the Hammer stand-off missiles with the capability to take out any types of targets at a distance of 60-70 kilometres is being processed under the emergency powers of military commanders.

“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 media.

In view of the urgent requirement of these missiles for the Indian Air Force, the French authorities would deliver the missiles to India from the existing stock meant for some other customer, they said.

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What is Safran’s Hammer missile

Air-to-ground modular weapon, Hammer, is a medium-range air-to-ground weapon designed and manufactured by French defence giant Safran.

In its product description page, Safran describes the missile as a weapon platform which can be used from a greater safe distance with unrivalled ease of use which enables extremely accurate strikes.

“The AASM is an autonomous unjammable interoperable modular device which utilizes leverages a range of guidance kits including INS/GPS, INS/GPS/Infrared and INS/GPS/Laser,” said Safran Electronics & Defense.

The company says that its Hammer Missile (The Armement Air-Sol Modulaire or AASM) has been tested in numerous recent theaters and delivers an excellent cost effective solution.

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Hammer missiles can destroy hardened bunkers

The HAMMERs would give India the capability to take out any bunkers or hardened shelters in any type of terrain including the mountainous locations such as Eastern Ladakh.

Photo: Rafale Hammer Missile

Hammer Missile

India will receive 5 Rafale jets on July 29 and their advanced weaponry including the long-range SCALP and Meteor missiles is expected to reach India before the fighters arrive here.

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These Rafale fighters will be deployed at Ambala airbase which is close to Pakistan border, but they can also quickly cover Ladakh region where Indian Army and Chinese PLA are in a tense military stand-off since May this year which resulted in death of 20 Indian soldiers and unconfirmed number of PLA soldiers in a violent face-off last month.

IAF to induct 5 Rafale fighters on July 29

As per the earlier schedule, Rafale jets were to be delivered to Indian Air Force in May this year, however, their delivery was delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

According to people familiar with the matter, these Rafale fighters would be refuelled by a French Air Force refueller somewhere over Israel or Greece. Then these jets will also have a stopover in the Middle East before arriving in India.

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In 2016, India had signed a deal worth over Rs 60,000 crore with France in September 2016 for 36 Rafale jets to meet the emergency requirements of the Indian Air Force.

Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria was the Deputy Chief of Air Staff at that time and played a crucial role in the finalization of the deal.

He headed the Indian negotiation team for the deal which is the biggest ever defence deal of the country so far.

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