Aerial Warfare

Dassault Aviation Receives Order for 42 Rafale Fighter Aircrafts for French Air Force

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Dassault Aviation Receives Order for 42 Rafale Fighter Aircrafts for French Air Force

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Dassault Aviation Receives Order for 42 Rafales for French Air Force
Dassault Aviation Receives Order for 42 Rafales for French Air Force

At the end of December 2023, the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) awarded Dassault Aviation an order for 42 Rafale fighter aircraft, known as “tranche 5”, for the French Air Force. The Rafale is a technical, operational and commercial success which continues to position France at a world-class level in fighter aircraft.The Rafale has been designed to evolve by successive standards, in order to adapt the latest technologies to user needs. Standard 4, focusing particularly on connectivity, is under development. Standard 5, which is currently preparing for launch, will bring new capabilities in collaborative combat. The Rafale is a success in the export market, with seven customer countries to date. The order book, plus the new “tranche 5” contract, secure production activity for the next ten years.

“On behalf of Dassault Aviation and the 400 companies involved in the Rafale program, I would like to thank the Ministry for the Armed Forces, the DGA and the AAE for their renewed confidence. We are ready and determined to use our skills as prime contractor and complex systems integrator to serve the sovereignty of our nation. This military industrial sovereignty is an exception in Europe. It guarantees the superiority of our combat aviation. It is also an asset for diplomatic influence and an economic strength in export trade”, says Éric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.

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French Air Force Dassault Rafale "Tranche 5" Fighter Aircraft
French Air Force Dassault Rafale “Tranche 5” Fighter Aircraft

The Rafale is the world’s only fully “omni-role” aircraft and can be operated from a land base or an aircraft carrier, and can carry 1.5 times its own weight in weapons and fuel. It was designed to perform all combat aviation missions:
air-to-air intercept and combat with a 30mm gun, Mica IR/EM missiles and Meteor long-range missiles
close air support (CAS) with a 30mm gun, GBU laser-guided bombs and AASM GPS-guided bombs
deep strikes with Scalp/Storm Shadow cruise missiles
anti-ship attack with Exocet AM39 Block 2 missiles and other air-to-surface weapons
real-time tactical and strategic reconnaissance with the Areos pod
in-flight refueling from one Rafale to another (“buddy-buddy”)
nuclear deterrence (France only) with the ASMP-A missile

The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and the French Air Force in 2006, gradually replacing the previous generations of seven types of fighter aircraft. It has proven itself in combat in various theaters: Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq, and Syria. To date, France has placed orders for five tranches of Rafales as follows: 13 Rafales in 1993; 48 in 1999; 59 in 2004; 60 in 2009; and 42 in 2023. In 2021, France placed a special order for 12 Rafale fighters to replace the 12 aircraft transferred to Greece. French orders therefore total 234 Rafale aircraft. Total export orders currently stand at 261 Rafales (new aircraft): Egypt (55), Qatar (36), India (36), Greece (12) United Arab Emirates (80) and Indonesia (42 including 18 for 2024) In addition, Greece and Croatia have each acquired 12 Rafales from the French Air Force.

Dassault Aviation Receives Order for 42 Rafales for French Air Force
French Air Force Dassault Rafale “Tranche 5” Fighter Aircraft

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