The Indian armed forces will see the Rafale fighter in an operational role for perhaps the first time tomorrow. About a dozen Rafale fighter jets will be part of the French contingent for Exercise Varuna, the naval exercise between India and France, which is currently underway off the coast of Goa. According to top government sources, about 20 Rafale fighters will be present in strength on the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle beginning tomorrow for the four-day exercise. While dogfights are part of fighter warfare of an earlier generation, the MiG-29K of the Indian Navy will be involved in ‘duels,’ with the Rafale on May 8. This will allow the Indian armed forces (the Navy in this case, though the Indian Air Force has acquired the 36 French fighters) to gauge the Rafale in an environment that is essentially mock-war. The Navy is looking forward to seeing how effective it will be in the exercises with the MiG-29K, the Russian-built naval fighter. (…)