Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No scalp for Libya ?

Rafale config for long range strike  
According to the Defense journalist Jean-Marc Tanguy, the Rafale sale to Libya woud have been jeopardized by the Refusal of the French government to include the sclalp-EG cruise missile in the bid.

The scalp-EG is a stealthy subsonic cruise missile using IIR terminal guidance with a range between 250 and 400 km. It is in Service in the French Air Force / Navy on the Mirage 2000D and Rafale B/C/M since the F2 version (2006).
It was developped with the UK (where it is known as the Storm shadow and carried by the Tornado GR4) and was exported to Greece and the UAE for their Mirage 2000-5/9

A typical Rafale load for a long range strike is 2 scalps, 3 RPL741 2000L tanks and 4 mica, a configuration allowing the plane to remain out of the range of ennemy SAM defenses to attack high value ground targets while at the same time being capable of conducting its own escort agains air threats.

A capability apparently too  dangerous to be exported to Libya. Indeed, it is worth noting that such a weapon would threaten strategic facilities in Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and even on the south cost of France... a risk that French authorities are apparently not willing to take.

1 comment:

  1. In hindsight, that's a really good decision,

    even at the cost of a potential sale for the Rafale.