According to information published by Hindustan Times on January 3, 2022, the Rafale-M fighter aircraft begins intensive trials on Naval Air Station INS Hansa to assess whether it is best suited for the Indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
INS Vikrant, also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1), is an aircraft carrier constructed by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) for the Indian Navy. It is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India.
The indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is 262 meters (860 ft) long and 62 meters (203 ft) wide and displaces about 45,000 metric tons (44,000 long tons).
It features a STOBAR configuration with a ski jump. The deck is designed to enable aircraft such as the MiG-29K to operate from the carrier.
Vikrant is powered by four General Electric LM2500+ gas turbines on two shafts, generating over 80 megawatts (110,000 hp) of power. The gearboxes for the carriers were designed and supplied by Elecon Engineering.
The Rafale M is a carrier-borne version for the Aéronavale, which entered service in 2002. The Rafale M weighs about 500 kg (1,100 lb) more than the Rafale C.
For carrier operations, the M model has a strengthened airframe, longer nose gear leg to provide a more nose-up attitude, a larger tailhook between the engines, and a built-in boarding ladder.