Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rafale program updates

©Dassault aviation - A. Hernoult
Here is a quick list of the main points discussed in the last Fox3 issues


  • Performance evaluation passed
  • A2A detection/range exeed expectations
  • A2G and terrain following modes also tested
  • First production Rafale C delivered with an AESA in 2012
  • First production Rafale M delivered with an AESA in 2013
  • Qualification expected early 2013
  • First French Airforce squadron operational with the AESA in early 2014 

  • First flight envelope expension done in early 2011 (including carrier trials)
  • First batch of 200 Missiles ordered
  • Operational service expected in 2016
 AM-39 Exocet block 2 mod 2
  • Integration on Rafale completed
  • Final operational evaluation in early 2012
  • Operational on French Navy Rafale in mid-2012
  • French Navy Pilot training with the missile has already started
  • Link 16 targeting from AEW aircrafts (E-2, ATL-2) is developed

DDM-NG (New Generation Missile Detector)
  • increase range and field of view / decrease false alerts
  • In flight testing in progress (2nd data gathering campaign completed in early 2011)

  • Extensively used in Libya by French Air Force and Navy Rafale (225 units fired)
  • success rate very close to 100%
  • GPS/INS/IIR variant operational since mid-2011
  • 800 units of the 250kg type delivered (3400 ordered)
  • Range >50km for the 250kg type (57km demonstrated in Libya)
  • GPS/INS/Laser version 
    • Qualification phase in 2012
    • Operational service entry in 2013
    • 15km range with 90° of boresight release demonstrated against a 80km/h target with an acuracy of 1 meter
  • First firing trials of the 125 kg variant completed (80km range demonstrated)
  • 1000kg version development expected rapidly
  • New guidance kit for antiship attack considered with datalink capability

  • Rover system fully operational on Rafale
  • Rover terminal fitted to the Rafale airframe (not the LDP) and thus also allows radar or FSO images to be transmitted to the FAC

Libya campaign

  • All missions were operated without any dedicated SEAD and EW support thanks to Spectra
  • Spectra Allowed accurate detection, location and attack of Libyan Air defenses 
  • Spectra jammer allowed soft kills of the Libyan radar systems
  • GBU-12 used for dynamic targeting
  • AASM used against high value well-defended targets and SAM system  (SA-3/SA-6)
  • Damocles pod used for laser targetting (GBU-12), identification and target GPS coordinates extraction (AASM)
  • Half of the Rafale M missions performed at night
  • Rafale considered as a key tool for ISTAR missions (Intelligence, Surveillance, Taget acquisition, Reconnaissance)


  1. I applause the French military and industry's effort to maintain a steadfast pace and projection for Rafale's operation and upgrade despite the current export outlook. Never mind what naysayers say, Rafale is a solid product and program from start to finish.

  2. News about M88-2E4 pack gcp tco ?