Thursday, January 19, 2012

A new life for the Rafale M F1

The Rafale M10, ready to be upgraded
A very good news from LeMamouth : The retrofit process of the 10 first Rafale M has begun at the SIAe (Industrial Aeronautic Service) facilities near Clermont- Ferrand.

The Rafale M1 to M10 were delivered between 2000 and 2002 at the early F1 standard with limited capabilities (Mica EM and, Magic 2 missiles for Air defense and buddy-buddy refueling pod)

They were put in storage in 2008 waiting for their retrofit to be funded (€300 millions agreed in 2009). The first aircraft to be upgraded will be the M10. Each retrofit is expected to last 18 months. The final integration work will take place in Bordeaux-Merignac where the airframes will directly be inserted in the Rafale assembly line.

The delivery schedule is the following :
  • 2014 : 2 aircrafts
  • 2015 : 3 aircrafts
  • 2016 : 4 aircrafts
  • 2017 : Rafale M1 (which is currently used as a test bench for carrier trials).