France has modified the Rafale for nuclear weapon delivery, which opens up the possibility of its role in imparting “second strike” capability. Its capacity to deliver atomic bombs has gone a long way in deterring both the Chinese and the Pakistanis.

Thanks to the French the delivery of the Rafale began when the Chinese had intruded into eastern Ladakh in May 2020, beefing up IAF’s punch which Beijing was forced to take into consideration.

For Pakistan the Meteor Beyond Visual Range missiles are more than a handful as they can strike targets more than 100 kilometers away allowing the Rafales the luxury of attacking without having to cross the Line of Control (LoC). The Rafales also board the MICA missiles which can strike aerial targets at a 60 km range.

Rafale fighter jets are therefore capable of exceptionally deep air strikes inside Pakistan without crossing the Indian airspace have further exposed the vulnerability of the Pakistani mainland in its entirety.

The Rafale is a safer twin-engine aircraft, which the IAF wants to fly for the next 40 years.