Monday, March 26, 2012

3 weeks in one post

We've been quite busy those days, but news about the Rafale kept on flowing. So, here we go :

  • Air International have published a nice article about operation Harmattan, and more specifically about the 12F's Rafale over Libya :
"During Harmattan, Flotille 12F demonstrated, in action , that Rafale is an agile, powerful, easy to fly fighter that offers excellent endurance and good-bring back capability" says Flotille 11F's commanding officer Captain Bertrand Lepoutre[...]"
  • Interviewed by Bloomberg, Charles Edelstenne, Dassault Aviation CEO, has shown very confident in the Indian deal :
“For 15 years, we’ve been saying the Rafale costs less than the Eurofighter,” Edelstenne said. “Now it’s the Indians who are saying it.”
Edelstenne said Dassault can easily boost production to two or three Rafales a month or more if needed
  • Air & Cosmos has published several articles entitled "How is Dassault preparing ?" We can learn that the integration of the GBU-49 is underway, requested by the Marine Nationale.
  • We have learnt that some Rafale over Libya were already equiped with the brand new DDM-NG.
  • Thales has manufactured the 10,000th module for the RBE-2 AA radar.
  • The UAE deal negotiation is accelerating, and Thales production plant is preparing for an evolution of Spectra. Qatar and Kuwait have renewed their interest in Rafale.
  • Libya may be the customer of the ex-UAE Mirage 2000-9, according to DefenceWeb. The information is "confirmed" by Jane's Defense Weekly.
  • Eric Trappier, interviewed by Les Echos, said that India wanted to sign the contract in 6 months. He also denies allegations charging France with illegal dumping, . More here.
  • EADS, Thales and Safran finance an Aerospace Training Center in Sao Jose dos Campos (21,000 sqm, €42millions, 5,800 students per year). This is a ToT agreement.
  • Saudi Arabia would have shown interest in the AASM for its Tornados. Meanwhile, France is still interested in the Brimstone. Aviation Week go as far as stating that the Brimestone could be integrated on Rafale before Typhoon.
  • Gerard Longuet, MoD, went to Saint Dizier to celebrate the first anniversary of the Harmattan Operation over Libya.
  • Dilma Roussef went to India so as to talk about trade and... Rafale.
  • Shiv Aroor, on his great blog Livefist, reveals the content of two letters : the one by the Member of Parliament M.V. Mysura Reddy who question the selection of Rafale, and the answer from the government ("I have asked the Ministry to examine all the points raised by you").
  • Finally, Dassault Aviation has launched a beautiful video : Rafale Before Flying

Thursday, March 8, 2012

2012 Rafale planing

Below are a few dates to remember

March 26 - April 6
Serpentex exercise, Solenzara / France

March 30 to May 3
Gulf exercice, UAE,. 6 Rafale and 3 Mirage 2000-5

May 26 - June 23
Mapple Flag exercice, Cold Lake / Canada (Rafale presence not confirmed)

May 28 - June 8
NATO Tiger Meet exercice, Norway

June 2-3
Mont-de-Marsan Air show

Normandie Niemen squadron 70th anniversary
GBU-24 operational on Rafale F3
Rafale F3.3 standard operational (Air to ground  targetting and L16 enhancements)

The 4 spheres of the Rafale simulation center get new functionalities (ASMP-A, AM-39 Exocet, Reco-NG and GBU)

Source: Air Actualites

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Captain Merouze, First female Rafale pilot

©French Air Force
Defense journalist Jean-Marc Tanguy reports that the very first female Rafale pilot is about to perform her first solo flight on Rafale in a few days. Captain Claire Merouze, 26, is affected to the 01.007 Provence squadron and already logs 5 flights with instructors on Rafale B.

Also read : (in french)

RAF N°3 squadron meets French Air Force Provence squadron

2 Eurofighter Typhoon from the RAF N°3 squadron visited the French Air Force Base of St Dizier from March 2 to 5.
The purpose of the meeting was to initiate cultural exchanges between the two squadrons as per the June 2010 Lancaster House treaty: Before the end of 2012 Rafale and Typhoon Pilots will fly their conterpart's fighter jet in order to improve their mutual knowledge on each machine (weapon system and training).