Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rafale F3-O4T and beyond

Rafale F3 weaponry - © P. Wodka-Gallien - May 2011
Last May 19, The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA)  invited all the international defense press in order to expose the last Rafale milestones reached as well as the futures upgrades planned.

First, the Rafale F3-O4T (former Rafale roadmap) : 60 fighters ordered (25C, 25B, 10M) deliveries from 2013 to 2019
  • RBE-2 AESA : Final evaluation in June-July with a qualification expected before the end of 2011
  • DDM-NG : new missile warning receiver compatible with a future active IR jammer.
  • OSF-IT : improved front sector optronic suite
  • Damocles-XF : add a sharper TV channel to the current IR channel for better identification in urban zones. Should be introduced in 2016.
  • M88-2-E4 engine : extended service life and 2 to 4% less consumption
  • Export option : 9 tonnes  M88 engine. Require a 1.5 cm air intake enlargement and material change to keep low RCS. Proposed to the UAE.

2025 MLU :
  • RCS improvements
  • Conformal AESA : increase the radar coverage and seen as a better solution than a single moving antenna
  • Thrust Vector Control for the M88 engine
  • Sat Com system
  • UCAV control system
Unfortunately, no word about a possible HMD...

Sources :
Rafale upgrade ready in 2012, Defense Aerospace
Plans for further Rafale upgrades emerge, Aviation Week


  1. any clues why the french seem to disregard HMD?

  2. As far as french air force and navy are concerned :
    weight and Budget (priority being given to spectra and radar/OSF/LDP upgrades)

    For export : Thales topsight-E is proposed (integration work needs to finalized though)