Thursday, September 20, 2012

In The press, Air & Cosmos article about Military engines

Picture credit Reno62
In its last issue published on Friday september 14th, Air & Cosmos revealed several interresting facts about the Rafale new M88-4E in a special article about military engines.

  • 16 M88-4E have been delivered so far
  • 20% of the engine is modified compared to the previous version (M88-2E4)
  • Improved NATO Tactical Air Cycle (number of actions on the throttle) : up to 4000 cycles instead of 2500c previoulsy.
  • Lifespan of  maintenance intensive parts increased by 60%
  • All M88 engines delivered so far could be upgraded to -4E standard within 4-5 years
  • New evolutions planed on the high pressure turbine (results of the Theo program) to increase the engine thrust (for 2015)
  • The assembly of a M88 takes 36 days
  • 300 M88 delivered to the French Air Force and Navy
  • Talks on the Kaveri using High pressure part of the M88 still going on.
  • Technology transfers to the Indian Industry in preparation to allow india to produce the M88 engine
Source : Air&Cosmos 2326

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rafale pictures of the day

High res pictures of the Rafale/Typhoon flight in Scotland last week

Senior Officers in the Royal Air Force and French Air Force traded places on 14 September to fly in Typhoon and Rafale fighter jets in a demonstration of the strong ties which exist between the two air arms. 
source :

Rafale C137, first serial production Rafale with AESA Radar

The first serial production Rafale to be delivered with the RBE-2 AESA radar is running its final tests at Dassault aviation Merignac facility. The aircraft is expected at the CEAM (French Air Force technical evaluation center) at the end of September for a 18 months trial period.

The aircraft is also fitted with the new generation IIR missile warning system DDM-NG (the half sphere at the top of the tail fin) and probably the OSF-IT.
Pictures credit : Frenchy on Pics-Aeronef

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rafale pictures of the day

The 70 years of the Normandie Niemen squadron comemorative camo from above
More picture on
And a superb reportage on FoxAlpha by Franck Cabrol

╕Franck Cabrol

Rafale and Typhoon pilots switching planes

As announced a few weeks ago, a French Air Force Rafale pilot and a RAF Typhoon pilot are about to exchange their fighter jet.

Captain Marc-Antoine Gerard who is flying the Rafale since 2008 will therefore be integrated in an RAF Typhoon squadron while lieutenant Matt Johnstone will spend 2 years at the Normandie Niemen squadron (Mont de Marsan Air Base).

This exchange project was formalized last September 14th by a 90 min demonstration flight of the 2 jets over Scotland with  RAF Air Vice-Marshal Stuart Atha and the Commander of the French Air Force Command, Lieutenant General Guillaume Gelée on board.

[...]During the 90 minute flight the pair of aircraft flew at low and medium-level in Western Scotland to demonstrate handling characteristics before splitting to show the officers the various systems on each type of aircraft.[...]

Sources : RAF, Air&Cosmos

In the meantime, defense journalist Jean Marc Tanguy indicates on his blog that some typhoon will come to the Saint Dizier Air Base in October in order to develop new operational tactics for joint Typhoon/Rafale operations.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rafale new camo

It's nearly Wednesday. And what will happen on the 14th of September 2012 ?

The Normandie-Niémen will celebrate its 70th anniversary. For this occasion, one Rafale (118-IX) has been decorated.

Enjoy this very beautiful picture by Philippe Chaillet  :

There are many hommages on this scheme :

The Red-White-Blue painting on the nose and the fin, the Cross of Lorraine and the white arrow on each side are similar to the good old Yak-3 :

The grey and green camo looks like the one the Mirage F1 used to wear, while the big red star was also starred on this Mirage F1 in 2009, when the squadron was halted :

Sunday, September 9, 2012

MMRCA, Contract for the 126 Rafale to be signed within 2 months ?

After a month of rumors stating that the Rafale deal in India was in very bad shape, a senior Indian Air Force official is denying that the exclusive negociations with Dassault could be canceled. Furthermore, he said that the contract could be signed within 1 or 2 months :

The Economic Times
[...] Bangalore, Sept 8 (PTI): India plans to sign the USD 11 billion MMRCA(Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) deal with French Rafale by the end of this month-end or next month, a senior Indian Air Force official said today.

"I find no reason why it shouldn't be signed by the end of this month or next month", Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, IAF, Air Marshal Rajinder Singh told PTI here.

He indicated that negotiations are currently on with regard to pricing for the 126-aircraft deal. "There is money....this thing here and there (pricing being finalised)".

The Air Marshal admitted to "some problems" (on pricing) but asserted that it's not unusual in such big deals. "It should come through", he said, adding that the first aircraft under the MMRCA deal would start "flowing in" in 2017.

The Air Marshal dismissed reports quoting Russian and German officials who had claimed that the deal is not final yet and that it's still up in the air.

"Nothing of that sort", he said, pointing out India had already declared the lowest bidder -- Rafale -- for the MMRCA deal.

In its last issue published on September 7th, Air & Cosmos magazine reveals that more than half of the negociation points would have been already validated by the Contract Negociation Commity.

In June, HAL also announced that a $108 millions investment in 2 Rafale production facilities (Airframe and engine) has been cleared.

Also read
MBCTV report

Edit : Indian Air Force chief N.A.K Browne has indicated on September 20, that the negociations are on schedule and that the contract will be signed before March 2013 (end of the Indian fiscal year).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Another set of pictures with both Sukhois and Rafales has made a new set of pictures available showing a Sukhoi and a Rafale flying together.

The website reveals that those pictures were taken above the Khatenki site, where the Normandie-Niémen begun to fight during WW2.

Reminder : those pictures were taken during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Russian Air Force.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

International Facebook page for the Normandie-Niémen !

The Normandie-Niémen (Fighter Squadron 2/30) has published a new Facebook page in english.

The idea is to improve communication on the squadron's history. Initially the translated version of the french page, the idea is to answer the questions of more and more non-French friends.

Visit the following link :

As the picture suggests, you can notice that the 2/30 is about to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Rendez-vous in Mont-de-Marsan on September the 14th.