43 Facts About Dassault Rafale


Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation.

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The Rafale is referred to as an "omnirole" aircraft by Dassault.

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Dassault Rafale built a technology demonstrator which first flew in July 1986 as part of an eight-year flight-test programme, paving the way for the go-ahead of the project.

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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.

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Originally scheduled to enter service in 1996, the Dassault Rafale suffered significant delays due to post-Cold War budget cuts and changes in priorities.

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The Dassault Rafale has been marketed for export to several countries, and was selected for purchase by the Egyptian Air Force, the Indian Air Force, the Qatar Air Force, the Hellenic Air Force, the Croatian Air Force, the Indonesian Air Force and the United Arab Emirates Air Force.

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The Dassault Rafale has been used in combat over Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.

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In October 1982, the French Ministry of Defence announced that Dassault Rafale would build a technology demonstrator named Avion de Combat experimental .

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Resultant Dassault Rafale A technology demonstrator was a large-delta winged fighter, with all-moving canards, embodying fly-by-wire flight control system.

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Production only resumed in January 1997 after the Ministry of Defence and Dassault Rafale agreed on a 48-aircraft production run with delivery between 2002 and 2007.

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Dassault Rafale is planned to be the French Air Force's primary combat aircraft until 2040 or later, until replacement by the Franco-German New Generation Fighter.

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In 2018, Dassault announced the successor to the Rafale as the New Generation Fighter.

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Rafale was developed as a modern jet fighter with a very high level of agility; Dassault chose to combine a delta wing with active close-coupled canard to maximize manoeuvrability.

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The Dassault Rafale is an aerodynamically unstable aircraft and uses digital fly-by-wire flight controls to artificially enforce and maintain stability.

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The Dassault Rafale M retains about 95 percent commonality with Air Force variants including, although unusual for carrier-based aircraft, being unable to fold its multi-spar wings to reduce storage space.

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Thales' Areos reconnaissance pod is an all-weather, night-and-day-capable reconnaissance system employed on the Dassault Rafale, and provides a significantly improved reconnaissance capability over preceding platforms.

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Dassault Rafale was first outfitted with the Thales RBE2 passive electronically scanned multi-mode radar.

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In early October 2012, the first Rafale equipped with an RBE2 AA radar arrived at Mont-de-Marsan Air Base for operational service .

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Dassault Rafale describes the OSF as being immune to jamming and capable of providing covert long-range surveillance.

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In 2010, France ordered 200 MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range missiles which will greatly increase the distance at which the Dassault Rafale can engage aerial targets when the missile enters service.

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The Dassault Rafale is typically outfitted with 14 hardpoints, five of which are suitable for heavy armament or equipment such as auxiliary fuel tanks, and has a maximum external load capacity of nine tons.

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Dassault Rafale M is fully compatible with US Navy aircraft carriers and some French Navy pilots have qualified to fly the aircraft from US Navy flight decks.

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In December 2015, American and French military officials reportedly discussed the possibility of French naval Dassault Rafale Ms flying combat missions from a US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier as soon as January 2017.

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The Dassault Rafale could operate in Libya without the support of SEAD aircraft, using the onboard SPECTRA self-defence system instead.

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Reportedly, Dassault Rafale crews preferred to use GPS-guided munitions with greater reliability and range.

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In January 2013, the Dassault Rafale took part in "Operation Serval", the French military intervention in support to the government of Mali against the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa.

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In June 2016, Egypt begun negotiations with Dassault to acquire 12 additional Rafales, intending to exercise an option of the first contract.

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In June 2014, Dassault claimed it was close to signing a contract with Qatar for 72 Rafales.

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Dassault Rafale was one of the six aircraft competing in the Indian MRCA competition for 126 multirole fighters.

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Deal stalled due to disagreements over local production; Dassault refused responsibility for the 108 HAL-manufactured Rafales, holding reservations over HAL's ability to accommodate the complex manufacturing and technology transfers; instead, Dassault said it would have to negotiate two separate production contracts by both companies.

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The Indian Defence Ministry instead wanted Dassault Rafale to be solely responsible for the sale and delivery of all 126 aircraft.

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Allegedly, Dassault Rafale lacked any choice and was compelled to select Reliance Defence as its partner.

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In 2018, the Dassault Rafale was reportedly competing against several other aircraft in a new procurement tender for 114 multi-role combat aircraft, which is referred as MMRCA 2.

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In January 2021, the agreement with Dassault Rafale was ratified in the Hellenic Parliament for the purchase of six new built and 12 used F3-R aircraft formerly used by the Armee de l'Air at a total cost of €2.

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On 10 February 2022, Dassault stated that Indonesia had officially signed an order for 42 Rafale F4, concluding two years of negotiations with six Batch 1 aircraft, consisting of 30 single-seat and 12 double-seat.

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In October 2011, Dassault was confident that a US$10 billion deal for up to 60 Rafales would be signed.

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On 3 December 2021, Dassault announced that the UAE had signed an order for 80 Rafale F4 in a government-to-government deal, which made the UAE the largest Rafale operator in the region and second to France.

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In June 2022, La Tribune reported Dassault Rafale made an offer for 15 jet fighters and 9 in option for the Fuerza Aerea Colombiana.

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Dassault Rafale was amongst various fighters proposed to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force's McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet.

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In 2005, a report compiled by Canada's Department of Defence reviewing aircraft noted concerns over the Rafale's interoperability with US forces; Dassault had been unable to confirm engine performance during cold weather conditions.

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In January 2014, Dassault Rafale offered a contract with full technology transfer, allowing Canada to perform its own support and upgrades, thereby lowering long-term service costs.

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In November 2018, Dassault Rafale withdrew from the competition, reportedly over interoperability and intelligence sharing requirements, particularly with the US, complicated by France's lack of involvement in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group.

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In May 2019, the Dassault Rafale performed demonstration flights at Payerne Air Base for comparison against other bids.

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