India has ordered HAMMER missiles from France to improve the capability of its LCA Tejas fighter jets, which are currently engaged in a confrontation with China along their northern frontiers.
Tejas jets will be able to take out enemy bunkers from 70 kilometres distant as a result of the purchase. Top government sources told India Today that the capacity to take down enemy targets from such ranges would allow indigenous planes to carry out Balakot-style airstrikes with greater accuracy and precision.
The order for the HAMMER (Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range) missiles from France for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, as well as the same missiles for the Rafales, was made under emergency procurement authorities. A few hundred missiles would be added to the Indian Air Force’s arsenal under a large order, according to sources. “The French HAMMER missiles would help us improve our capability to strike targets in high-altitude places like Eastern Ladakh,” a source added. Because of the ongoing battle with the People’s Liberation Army of China in the Eastern Ladakh area, the military forces have been granted emergency powers.
India has already commissioned two LCA Tejas fighter squadrons and expects to get four more within the next few years. They will be used to replace the MiG-21 inventory that is being phased out. “The LCA Tejas is a significantly superior aircraft to the Chinese-developed JF-17, and the HAMMER would put it above of their fleet in terms of strike capability,” a source added.
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