Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bastille day, Rafale and Typhoon over Paris

10:42am, July 14th 2012, as part of the first bastille day parade of  French President François Hollande, 2 Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon flew along side 2 Rafale of the French Air Force.
Those Typhoon came from the n°29 squadron based at Coningsby.

No less than 8 Rafale flew this year over the Champs Elysées in all the fighting formations of the aerial parade, illustrating the total versatility reached by the jet in 2012:

reconnaissance / anticipation :

Prevention :

Dissuasion :

Protection :

Intervention :

Pictures of the parade

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rafale in the 12F : 10 years already...

Rafale has been in service in the 12F for 10 years now.

The "flotille" painted one of the tail fin with special decoration :

The picture is provided by Mr Stephane Fort, on his Twitter account.

The 12F has participated in all engagements implying Rafale.
It was over Afghanistan in 2002, providing air-defense and, 2 years later, buddy-buddy refuelling (remember that early Rafale M F1 were limited to air-to-air missions).
The standard F1 was declared operational in 2004, and then came the F2 which could deliver GBU-12 and AASM on Afghanistan since March 2007.
Of course, in 2011, 12F flew over Lybia too, delivering Scalp EG for the first time.

Edit : more picture of the event

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rafale Simulators to be upgraded to F3.2 standard

Farnborough – Thales announces the acceptance by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) of the upgrade to the F3.2 standard of the first two Rafale simulator cabins at the simulation centre in Saint-Dizier. The Rafale Transformation Squadron in Saint-Dizier, which has a total of four cabins, provides training on the Rafale for French Air Force and Navy pilots, offering them a very high level of training in a complex tactical environment.

This upgrade will improve the instruction and training provided to prepare this squadron for the following missions of the Rafale F3:

  • air-to-sea attack with the AM39 anti-ship missile
  • reconnaissance with the Reco-NG pod
  • air support with the Damocles laser targeting pod
  • nuclear deterrence with the ASMP/A enhanced medium-range air-to-ground missile
The Rafale simulation centre in Landivisiau, which has two simulators, will be upgraded to the F3.2 standard in the summer of 2013.


Video, Pean 12.1 training for the CdG battle group

PEAN 12.1 : « le GAN au meilleur niveau... par Marine-Nationale

The Pean 12.1 campaign was a 6 weeks intensive training for the Charles De Gaulle battle group. Several exercises were conduced with the French "Armee de terre" and with the Spanish and Morrocan Air forces and Navies (Which deployed its 2 brand new Sigma Frigates for the occasion) in the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
As far as the Rafale is concerned, exercices with Spanish Eurofighters were performed.
The CdG was back in Toulon last Friday July  6.

Agile Release Capability

The Rafale is extending the release envelope of its Air to ground weapons. In February 2012, The Rafale C101 conducted high speed releases of inert GBU-12 bombs under G loads at the Dassault test facility (Cazaux). During the 3 flights, 6 tests were performed using high speed digital cameras, and wireless acceleration sensors on the bombs.
Similar trials are planed for the AASM missile as part as the ARC (Agile Release Capability) contract.

Source : Dassault magazine 149

Monday, July 9, 2012

RIAT 2012 : successful !

To the Rafale solo display team : bravo !

The Sir Douglas Bader Trophy for the Best Individual Flying Display to Solo Display Team at Air Tattoo 2012
News from Twitter :

Note the Rafale salute at 07:45 :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

M24 crash due to F-18 exhaust

According to the last issue of Air&Cosmos, the Rafale M24 that was lost on July 2 during a BFM exercise  would have been caught in the F-18 exhaust flux it was fighting with. The hot and turbulent air from the Hornet engines would have disturbed the pressure and temperature sensors of the Rafale leading to incoherent data transfert to the flight control system. Air&Cosmos put forward the hypothesis that the incoherent flight data could have triggered a flat spin forcing the pilot to eject at 3000 ft.

As a side note, the French Navy recently put into service a new underwater setup in order to train pilots to get out of their cockipt in case of a sea crash.

GBU-24 trials

Superb pictures of the Rafale M02 about to land/launch on the CdG during the GBU-24 carrier trial that took place last May 2012 (campaign CDG 8).

Rafale M02 © Sebastien Randé
Rafale M02 © Sebastien Randé

Saturday, July 7, 2012

RIAT 2012

News from the Rafale Solo Display team :
Rafale landed at Fairford yesterday to participate to the RIAT 2012.

Or couse, they will do their best so as to win the Best Solo Jet Demonstration trophee that Cpt Brocard earned last year !

What's going on with export prospects ?

We have not given any news in this respect for a while, but there are some very interesting things to know which were published in the last four days...

The first one is about Brazil. How are the news on this side ? A decision was expected in the first half of the year. And the decision is : postponed ! Once again. So, this time, this should be over before the end of the year.

The following report by FlightGlobal, also deals with talks between Mrs. Roussef and Mr Hollande, during Rio +20, about a new proposal. Another effort is expected for the coming visit of Mrs. Roussef and Mr. Amorin in France this month.

The second information comes from SP's Aviation. They suggest that the ASMP-A operationnal firing "sweetens the deal".

Dassault Aviation, it may be noted, was the only one of the six MMRCA firms that explicitly detailed for the IAF its nuclear deterrent capability along with the test plans. The IAF, in fact, was briefed and kept in the loop about the ASMP-A test.

Wireless integration to make it less expensive !

Picture from

When one doesn't want to rewire its aircraft and modify its softwares when he integrates a new weapon, Raython can now propose its WiPAK®, a system first demonstrated on Rafale. This information comes from :

"With WiPAK, warfighters can easily and quickly provide targeting information, employ Paveway and gain all the benefits of a GPS/INS guided smart weapon for a fraction of what it would cost to integrate weapons through traditional means," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Air Warfare Systems. "WiPAK uses wireless connectivity technology similar to what is being used in laptop and tablet computers."

In this particular case, the weapon integrated was the GBU-49.

Friday, July 6, 2012

SBU-64 Hammer (Laser AASM) integration

© Sagem

Extract from :

The AASM Hammer's guidance was deliberately initialized by offsetting the target's GPS coordinates by over 50 meters. Thanks to its navigation, laser spot detection and terminal guidance algorithms, the AASM hit its target to within a meter. Prior to the impact, the missile steered itself to a glide slope of 20°, preferred for this type of operational scenario.

That was the first qualification firing test. It is also stated that France will receive its first SBU-64 by the end of 2012.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Rafale AESA to be delivered in September

A&C, on the 28th of June, announced that the Rafale C137 will be delivered in September.

Initially expected during the summer, DGA will receive the aircraft first so as to conduct some trials at Istres.

Only then, this Rafale will fly toward Mont-de-Marsan where it will start a 18 month period of experimentation before operational service.

The C137 is still a F3-O, but with some F3-O4T equipments, like the new AESA, of course, but also DDM-NG and the brand new OSF-IT.

Yet others pictures to enlighten the blog

This time by Fox3Shots :

More here :

Another set of very nice pics by Mr Marais-Hayer

See more here :
and here :

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rafale M24 lost, the pilot is safe

The French Navy lost a Rafale yesterday, Monday July 3 (02;00 PM local time).
The aircraft was the M24, a machine of the second batch delivered in 2008 (F2 standard later upgraded to F3).

According to Air and Cosmos, the pilot would have lost control of his aicraft during a low atltitude BFM training with a USNavy F-18 off the cost of the Ibiza Island, Spain.

The Pilot hopefully managed to eject safely and was recovered by a helicopter of the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier.
The M24 had notably be involved in the early ASMP-A trials.

Source: Air&Cosmos.
Picture : Rafale M24 seen in the CdG hangar bay last June 18, 2012 ©Antonio Carrasquilla