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Rafael targets Indian contract with Litening pod

Rafael is hoping to win a contract to equip India's future fleet of Dassault Rafales with its Litening targeting pod, says Yuval Miller, head of the Israeli company's air and C4I systems division.

In the event of a selection, Miller says the sensors will be manufactured by a local company that is jointly owned by Rafael and an Indian partner. "The Rafale is a multi-role aircraft, and the Litening gives it the flexibility to deal with ground and air targets with the same efficiency," he notes.

India is being offered Litening systems including in a 4I standard, which Rafael says enables host aircraft to fly intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance missions.

New Delhi's initial Rafale acquisition is for 36 of the French-built aircraft, but Dassault is already eyeing follow-on sales opportunities with the Indian air force and navy.

The Indian air force already uses the Rafael-produced pod on several types of combat aircraft, having acquired the system in the Litening III standard. Rafael also is to supply its advanced 4I version of the system for use by the Aeronautical Development Agency's Tejas light combat aircraft.

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