On 29 December 2022, Dassault Aviation’s Mérignac plant delivered Rafale B359 (F3R standard) to the Direction Générale de l’Armement (French defense procurement agency). The Rafale B359 is for the French Air and Space Force. This event marks the resumption of Rafale deliveries to France after an interruption of four years. It is part of the “tranche 4” order for 60 aircraft awarded in 2009. In accordance with the various Military Programming Acts, deliveries to France were interrupted for budgetary reasons.
The Dassault Rafale production line was then dedicated to export orders. A further 27 Rafale fighters are still to be delivered for tranche 4, plus 12 Rafale fighters ordered by France in 2021 to make up for the 12 aircraft sold to Hellenic Air Force. Tranche 5 should be awarded in 2023. In the current strategic context, the Dassault Aviation group is particularly proud to be a partner in equipping and supporting the French air force, as it has done for more than a century.
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 distinct from other European fighters of its era in that it is almost entirely built by one country, involving most of France’s major defence contractors, such as Dassault, Thales and Safran.
With over 10,000 military and civil aircraft (including 2,500 Falcons) delivered in more than 90 countries over the last century, Dassault Aviation has built up expertise recognized worldwide in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, ranging from the Rafale fighter, to the high-end Falcon family of business jets, military drones and space systems. In 2021, Dassault Aviation reported revenues of €7.2 billion. The company has 12,400 employees.