Monday, May 21, 2012

MMRCA, Indian Air Force Chief visits Rafale facilities

Air Chief Marchal N.A.K Browne, (Left).in front of a Su-30MKI
Livefist reports that Air Chief Marchal N.A.K Browne is currently visiting various Dassault and French Air Force facilities in France :
He will most notably visit the following locations:
  • St Dizier Air Base (BA113), home of 3 Rafale squadrons (Provence, Gascogne and Aquitaine)
  • Istres Air Base (BA125), French Flight test center.
  • Cognac Air Base (BA709), French Air Force Flight school and Harfang Drone.
  • Rafale assembly line in Merignac.
He is also intended to meet high representatives of the French Ministry of Defense :
  • Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (Recently nominated as part of the government of President François Hollande), 
  • Armed Force Chief, Admiral Edouard Guillaud
  • Defense procurment Agency (DGA) Director, Laurent Collet-Billon
  • Air Force Chief, General Jean-Paul Palomeros
India has selected the Rafale as its next Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft  (MMRCA) last January 31st. The deal for an initial order of 126 jets is expected to be signed at the end of 2012.

Also read:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rafale C 135 delivered

Rafale C135 ©Jagueli
The 35th Rafale C has been delivered to the French Air Force (St Dizier Air Base) on May 10
The C136 should follow shortly.
The C137 is also already flying but as it will be the first Production Rafale with the RBE-2 AESA, the delivery should take a bit more time.

Source : Delta Reflex (as usual ;)

Spring readings

The dictionnary of Deterrence by Philippe Vodka-Gallien, Marines Editions (in French)
An outstanding piece of work with more than 300 entries dealing with every aspects of the nuclear weapon : Historical, technical, political and cultural analysis, nothing is forgotten. This 384 pages book is of course covering the nuclear role of the Rafale and the ASMPA missile within the French Air Force and Navy. A must read for who wants to have a global and detailed view on this vast subject.

Air Fan issue N°400 : A special issue with tons of Rafale infos (French Air Force and Navy in Libya, and CEAM)

Raids Aviation,issue N°1 : A new French magazine about military aviation with a Nice article on the Charles de Gaulle's aircrafts

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rafale Solo Display, New web site

The support team. @ Paul Marais-Hayer
The Rafale Solo Display team has a new web site !

We can learn on their blog that the 2012 program has been validated on May 9, and that the demo was presented to the French Air Force Chief, General Palomeros, on May 10.

The team is the same as last year :

Also, don't forget to check the 2012 calendar. 3 inflight demos are planed out of France :
  • July 7-8 : RIAT, Fairford, UK
  • August 12 : 100th Anniversary of the Russian Air Force, Zhukovsky Air Base (Moscow), Russia
  • September 14 : Sanicole Air Show, Belgium

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Typhoon, Rafale : A&C answers to Eurofighter

On Monday, Jean-Marc Tanguy indicated that the next deployment of Rafale in UK (this week) should be shorter than expected, with less coverage. The reason ? Rafale bashing...
A&C just published an article by Guillaume Steuer which could be seen as an answer to the Eurofighter's publication (see here).

The article essentially confirms that French pilots are fed up with Rafale bashing which has been running for years now.

Remembering that Eurofighter said that " in almost all the encounters, Typhoon emerged with significantly better performances", those claims are qualified as baseless with no argument.

Referring to the anecdote with Italian Typhoon engaging the Rafale successfully, A&C brings details : those were MN Flotille 12F Rafale, and it happened above the Tyrrhenian Sea in early 2012. French pilots do not agree with their Italian counterparts, as they want to remind that the Pk used for the Amraam were more "permissive" than those used for Mica. This details seems to indicate that Typhoon were not exactly undetected as suggested by Italian pilots... However, French pilots admits that Captor is a better air-to-air radar (than the RBE-2 PESA), but they still question the claimed superiority of Typhoon.

What about the RAF ?
Last time RAF Typhoon really trained against the Rafale was in 2009, in Solenzara. A bit later, some 2 on 2 BVR engagements were simulated, and French pilots who participated claim that the results were well favourable to Rafale.

Displeased, the RAF no longer want to "fight" against Rafale. In early March, British pilots outright refused to oppose the Rafale. RAF has already indicated that no Typhoon will be available for training on the 11th this month (May).

But still, the Rafale bashing goes on, as demonstrated by the newspapers which claimed that Rafale was still unable to self-illuminate targets during operation Harmattan, or by the recent Eurofighter World issue.

Link to the article :

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Video, Retrofit of the Rafale M F1

Nothing new but it's always nice to actually see the work in progress

The upgrade process started in January 2012 at Clermont Ferrand on the Rafale M10 which is expected to make its first flight as a F3 aircraft in 2014

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rafale for Flight Simulator 2004

The Rafale VPA has released a Rafale for FS 2004.

The Rafale C      © Rafale VPA

 The particularity of this one is that :
  • it's a freeware ;
  • it's approved by Dassault Aviation !
Download of this product is only offered on the site below. Any person changing features, the platform, textures, sounds, lights, effects, gauges without the permission of the authors will be prosecuted by the authors with the help and approval of the official manufacturer Dassault Aviation.

Link here :

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Awesome pictures

Courtesy of Paul Marais-Hayer, who generously posted his great photography work on the International Rafale forum :

More here : Sion Airshow - The Rafale festival
and here : Cambrai : the end !

RAFALE Go Pro for Alain Bernard

As announced in an earlier message, Alain Bernard (gold-winning Olympic swimmer) has been offered a flight onboard the Rafale. Mr Bernard had the nice idea to bring his GoPro camcorder.
The video is shared through the EC 1/7 Provence facebook page.

 The pictures are available on Facebook too.