Eric Trappier, President and CEO of Dassault Aviation, has signed a contract with Florence Parly, Head of the French Ministry of Defense, for the sale of 12 Rafale fighter jets. These planes will replace the 12 Rafale of the French Air and Space Forces (Arme de l’Air et de l’Espace) that were sold to Greece, as well as another eight new manufacturers. The reinforcement of the Greek Air Force reacts to the growing crisis in the Aegean and the western Mediterranean with Turkey.
The contract was signed on January 29th during a visit by Parly to the Argonay plant in Haute-Savoie (southeastern part of the country), which has been manufacturing the flight control systems for all Dassault aircraft since 1963. Trappier has declared this contract with 12 new aircraft, our arms de l’Air et de l’Espace will be able to continue the development of the Rafale until the fifth section, the delivery of which is scheduled between 2027 and 2030. The contract is a great satisfaction for Dassault Aviation, Thales, Safran and the 500 French companies participating in the program under the particularly difficult conditions our aviation industry is facing in the context of the Covid crisis.
The Rafale, which has become a bestseller from its inception, built only for the French armed forces, is the only fully omnirole aircraft in the world that can operate from both a land base and an aircraft carrier. Conventionally, it can be carried 1.5 times its weight in weapons and fuel. We are faced with a device that is supposed to carry out the full spectrum of combat aircraft missions:
-Interception and air-to-air combat, armed with a 30 mm cannon, MBDA Mica IR / EM missiles and the long-range meteor.
– Close Air Support or CAS (Close Air Support) with the above can, GBU smart bombs controlled by the laser and the Safram system called AASM (Armement Air-Sol Modulaire) controlled by the GPS .
Long-range attack with MBDA SCALP-EG (Systme de Croisire Autonome Longue Porte Emploi Gnral) / storm shadow cruise missiles.
– Sea attack with the Exocet AM39 Block 2 missile and other air-to-air weapons. Tactical and strategic detection in real time with the Areos module.
-Buddy-buddy in-flight refueling with its new NARANG system.
– Nuclear deterrence with the ASMP-A missile.
The Rafale entered service in 2004 with the Marine Nationale (French Navy) and in 2006 with the then Arme de lAir, gradually replacing the seven types of fighter aircraft of the previous generation. It has been tested in combat in different scenarios: Afghanistan, Libya, Mal, Iraq and Syria. Of the 192 aircraft so far ordered by France, 152 have been delivered. In terms of exports, a total of 114 Rafale have been ordered from Egypt, Qatar, India and Greece so far. (Julio Maz Sanz)
Photo: Two Rafale from the Arme de lAir fly over Djibouti. (Photo Arme de lAir et l’Espace)
Copyright © Grupo Edefa SA Reproduction, in whole or in part, of this article is prohibited without the prior authorization of the publisher.