Saturday, May 28, 2011

New weapons for the Rafale

The blog "Le Mamouth" is reporting that the DGA (French defense procurement agency) and CEAM (French air force experimentation and trials center) is currently finishing the integration of the 2000 lb class GBU-24 laser guided bomb on the Rafale. The prefered hardpoints for this GBU are the center line fuselage and mid wing points. This massive bomb, already operational on Mirage 2000 D/N, will be compleated at a later stage by the 2000 lb versions of the AASM.

Edit : a heavy GBU-24 config has been added to the weapon load page.

As far as anti ship warfare is concerned, the first batch of AM-39 block II Exocet missiles will be delivered next month to the Rafale units. The missile is compatible with any Rafale F3, from the French Navy or Air Force.

Also in the pipeline are the "limited effect weapons" intended to be used close to urban areas. Several options are studied by the DGA :
  • GBU with inert bodies which are already in use in Libya. This solution is seen as too heavy and costly though.
  • Brimstones missile made by MBDA UK. This small laser guided missile carried in large number by RAF Tornados, has proved to be very effective in Libya. the DGA is seriously considered its integration on the Rafale (2 weeks ago, a French delegation visited MDBA UK to discuss the matter)
  • Laser guided rockets that are being developped by Thales and would be carried on the Rafale 3rd wing hardpoint.
  • LGTR (Laser Guided Training Round) are also studied for this task.
Last eye candy for today is the "Meteor" Air-defense loadout with mica on the 3rd wing hardpoint. This is a long expected configuration and the first one to use the 8 wing pylons : 
  • 4 meteor
  • 2 mica EM
  • 2 Mica IR
  • 3 RPL701 - 1250L tanks
This picture was taken 2 years ago at the LeBourget 2009 airshow.

No comments:

Post a Comment