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Why choosing between the Rafale and Hornet F/A 18 aircraft is difficult. Is India still awaiting offers?

Why choosing between the Rafale and Hornet F/A 18 aircraft is difficult. Is India still awaiting offers?

The search for suitable aircraft to be deployed on INS Vikrant, India’s indigenous aircraft carrier, began in earnest last year. The naval variant of the French company Dassault’s Rafale fighter jet (the Rafale Marine), as well as Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, have emerged as the top two contenders over the previous few years. India looked at both in depth.

The main issue is determining the criteria for equipping the Indian defense squad with the appropriate fighter jet. As the F18 aircraft will be extended if India places a new order, or if Boeing closes the F18 production facility, it will continue to maintain the present fleet. Another Rafale 18 is on the current list, however, it is a single-seat marine fighter jet.

Rafale-M and Super Hornet both have their advantages due to similar standardization, but where can India obtain a better deal?

The Indian Navy was delighted by the Rafale-M’s flawless maneuverability. The F/A-18’s potential for Indian aircraft carriers was similarly shown by Boeing in the US in late 2020. Finally, in 2022, at the Indian Naval Station Hansa in Goa, where INS Vikrant’s flight deck was modeled, the two competing multi-role carrier-borne fighters (MRCBF) were requested for operational demonstration tests. The first to enter service was the Rafale-M in February 2022, and Super Hornet in July.


A fighter plane with a similar configuration, the Rafale Marine is designed for the navy. The aircraft is offered in single- and dual-seat configurations, has a delta wing shape, and can resist 11 g. It is 15.27 meters in length and 10.80 meters in width. The GIAT 30M/719B gun on the Rafale is installed on it and has controlled 0.5 or 1-second bursts at 2500 RPM. It has a main missile that can be fired in multi-target fire and forget mode. In addition to the Meteor for battle beyond visual range, the aircraft is also capable of carrying air-to-air MBDA MICA missiles.

In comparison to the Rafale, the F/A-18 has a 20% larger airframe, 41% longer range, and better General Electric F414 engines that produce 35% more thrust. It was created by American aerospace and defense company Boeing. Similar to the Rafale, it travels at a speed of 1.8 Mach. The M61A1 Vulcan revolving canon of the F/A-18 had a maximum rate of fire of 6,000 rounds per minute. It has an AIM-7 Sparrow homing air intercept missile with a semi-active radar. The Super Hornet is equipped with AIM-120 AMRAAM beyond visual range air-to-air missiles.

The government will make the decision in this case. We have accepted both. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will now make the decision. Both aircraft are in good shape. They have established their worth. However, there will now be additional problems. For instance, the Air Force already has Rafales. The Navy Chief said, “Now there will be a commonality for spare parts and support etc.

The Navy currently operates a Russian MiG 29K for INS Vikrant. But it wants to go for a completely indigenous fighter jet in the future and imported Rafale M or Super Hornet.


The ‘economy’ of the transaction would also be important given that India paid INR 59,000 crores (more than US$8 billion) for 36 Rafale aircraft for the IAF.Even though it would be the maritime version of the Rafale, it is thought that France may offer a better deal on “add-on” aircraft.



Sneak Peek Inside the Qatar Airways’ Qsuite Next Gen at Farnborough Airshow

Sneak Peek Inside the Qatar Airways' Qsuite Next Gen at Farnborough Airshow

As the Farnborough International Airshow 2024 unfolds, one of the most anticipated highlights has arrived: Qatar Airways’ unveiling of its Innovative Qsuite Next Gen.

This preview offers a tantalizing glimpse into the future of luxury travel, showcasing the next evolution of Qatar Airways’ renowned Qsuite. Known for setting the standard in premium cabin experiences, the new Qsuite promises to redefine business class comfort with cutting-edge design and technology.

Building on the success of its pioneering Qsuite, which redefined business class with its door-equipped suites, Qatar Airways’ new generation of Qsuite is poised to elevate the standard even further.

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The original Qsuite revolutionized long-haul travel by introducing a business class seat with a door, making privacy and comfort a new standard in the industry. Now, with the Qsuite Next Gen,



A standout feature of the Qsuite Next Gen is its redesigned Quad Suite, which is equipped with movable 4K OLED Panasonic Astrova IFE screens—a world-first for any airline. These state-of-the-art screens can be repositioned to the side, creating the largest social and productivity space in the sky.

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This setup allows for up to four passengers to enjoy a spacious and flexible environment in the Quad Suite, while the Companion Suite accommodates up to two passengers.

The Qsuite Next Gen will be introduced on Qatar Airways’ Boeing B777-9 aircraft starting in 2025. This new suite configuration not only includes innovative window dual suites but also features a unique combination of quad, duo, and companion suites, each designed with the latest technologies for increased passenger convenience and connectivity.

Customization options are abundant, with enhanced ambient lighting, privacy controls, and upgraded touchscreen Passenger Control Units that offer a more personalized experience.

One notable change in the Qsuite Next Gen is the integration of the TV screens into the suite’s barrier system. Instead of traditional dividers that need to be lowered, these screens serve as part of the barrier and can be folded away when not in use.

However, Qatar Airways has confirmed that these advanced seats will not be retrofitted onto older aircraft. As Qatar Airways continues to evolve its fleet, the airline is focusing on reducing the number of non-Qatar-branded leased aircraft and phasing out the oldest models.

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With the Airbus A350 back in service and a commitment to modernizing its fleet, Qatar Airways is well-positioned to enhance its business class offering and deliver an unparalleled travel experience.

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