Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, signed a contract for the sale of 12 Rafale aircraft with Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces. The contract was signed during a visit by the French Minister of the Armed Forces to the Argonay plant in Haute-Savoie which has produced the flight control systems for all Dassault aircraft since 1963. These aircraft will replace the 12 Rafales of the French Air and Space Force (FASF) sold to the Hellenic Air Force. Dassault Aviation and its industrial partners would like to thank the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, the French defense procurement agency DGA and the Armed Forces for their renewed confidence.
“This contract for 12 new aircraft will enable our Air and Space Force to continue the Rafale build-up while awaiting the fifth tranche, which is scheduled for delivery between 2027 and 2030. The contract is a great satisfaction for Dassault Aviation, Thales, Safran and the 500 French companies involved in the program, in the particularly difficult conditions facing our aeronautics sector in the context of the Covid crisis“, said Eric Trappier.
The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. The Rafale is referred to as an “omnirole” aircraft by Dassault. The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air and Space Force (FASF) in 2006, gradually replacing the seven types of previous-generation combat aircraft. It has been combat proven in different theaters: Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria. Of the 192 aircraft ordered by France to date, 152 have been delivered. A total of 114 Rafales have been ordered by Egypt, Qatar, India and Greece.
Introduced in 2001, the Rafale is being produced for both the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations in the French Navy. The Rafale has been marketed for export to several countries, and was selected for purchase by the Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force, the Qatar Air Force and the Hellenic Air Force. The Rafale has been used in combat over Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria. The aircraft is available in three main variants: Rafale C single-seat land-based version, Rafale B twin-seat land-based version, and Rafale M single-seat carrier-based version.
The only totally “omnirole” aircraft in the world, able to operate from a land base or an aircraft carrier, capable of carrying 1.5 times its weight in weapons and fuel, the Rafale has been designed to perform the full spectrum of combat aircraft missions:
Rafale has been designed to perform the full spectrum of combat aircraft missions:
Interception and air-to-air combat using a 30-mm gun, Mica IR/EM missiles and Meteor missiles.
Close air support (CAS) using a 30-mm gun, GBU laser-guided bombs and AASM GPS-guided bombs.
Deep strike using Scalp/Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
Maritime strike using the Exocet AM39 Block 2 missile and other air-to-surface weapons.
Real-time tactical and strategic reconnaissance using the Areos pod.
Buddy-buddy in-flight refueling.
Nuclear deterrence using the ASMP-A missile.