Air Force to Get SCALP, Meteor Missiles

The Indian Air Force is set to get the ‘game changer’ SCALP and Meteor missiles for its Rafale fighter jets next year, which will outrange all known weapon systems in the region and will give India a definitive combat edge.

The SCALP stand off missile, manufactured at the highly protected facility here, has a range of over 300 km and is designed to hit high value, strongly protected targets deep inside enemy territory. The Rafale jets—the first of which is likely to arrive in India in May 2020—can carry two of the missiles that will enable them to hit virtually any target within Pakistan. The first Rafale jets are set to be handed over to India on October 8 but will be flown in France for several months before being ferried to the home base at Ambala.

“The SCALP is highly combat proven. It can carry out high destruction against high value assets, bridges, railroads, power plants, airfields, buried bunkers and command and control centres. It can evade enemy air defence units with its ground hugging trajectory,” said a senior MBDA executive, which is the manufacturer of the system.While India already has the Brahmos cruise missile in service, air force officers say the SCALP is in a different category, given its pinpoint accuracy to take down targets in all weather conditions and ability to evade air defence systems.

While the SCALP gives India the ability to hit ground targets in virtually all parts, the S 400 anti air system being procured from Russia will give it the option to take down air borne targets over the entire Pakistani airspace, if the need be.

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