Serving armed forces
Our fighter aircraft deliver what’s needed to meet current and future strategic challenges. France, Egypt, Qatar and India have all chosen Rafale fighters for their armed forces. We have now delivered 201 Rafales out of the 276 ordered, including 96 in export markets.
As of December 31, 2019, France has taken delivery of 152 Rafales out of the 180 ordered to date. A further order for 30 more aircraft is expected in the 2019-2025 military spending bill.
The Rafale has now logged a total of 305,000 flight-hours, including 48,500 hours in operation, making it one of the world’s most seasoned combat aircraft. Flown by both French air force and navy pilots, it has been deployed in a wide range of highly demanding theaters of operation: Afghanistan from 2007 to 2012, Libya in 2011, the Sahel, Iraq and Syria since 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.
The Rafale has demonstrated its outstanding versatility and combat effectiveness. The Rafale can handle a variety of missions that previously required seven different types of aircraft. It is one of the key components of the French system of deterrence. Its power-projection capabilities were once again illustrated during a record-breaking flight between Reunion Island and metropolitan France in January 2019.
Rafale F3-R in service
Photo Gallery Designed from the ground up to be able to incorporate new features throughout its service life based on operational feedback, the new Rafale F3-R standard went into service in December 2019, as per schedule.
The standard features the Meteor air-to-air missile, the Talios laser designation pod and a new version of the AASM guided missile.
Rafale F4 under development
Officially announced in December 2018, the Rafale F4 standard will be validated in 2024, with some functions already available in 2022. It features innovative connectivity solutions to increase efficiency in networked combat and to prepare for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).
This standard includes new upgrades in terms of the radar and OSF search & track systems, helmet-mounted display, along with new weaponry: Mica NG air-to-air and 1,000-kg AASM guided missiles.
The Rafale F4 will incorporate a new prognosis and diagnostic-aid system, providing predictive maintenance capabilities for the first time. Other solutions to optimize maintenance are planned, including those based on big data and artificial intelligence. In addition, the aircraft will be equipped with a new engine control unit.
Record export deliveries
Egypt was the first export customer for the Rafale, with an order for 24 planes placed in 2015. Delivery was completed in 2019.
Deliveries to Qatar kicked off in February 2019. Doha ordered 36 Rafales, including 24 in 2015 then another 12 in 2018, with an option on 36 more aircraft.
In terms of India, which has been a loyal customer since 1953, the program to deliver 36 Rafales is on schedule: the Indian Air Force (IAF) took delivery of the first of its aircraft in October 2019, within the time frame set out in the contract signed in 2016.
Maritime patrol and surveillance
The ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft is a key contributor to French sovereignty through the support it provides to the French nuclear ballistic missile submarines. The first two aircraft to be upgraded to standard 6 were delivered to the French Navy in the summer of 2019. We will deliver five other modernized ATL2s over the period 2020-2023.
In parallel with the work on the Falcon 8X Archange strategic intelligence aircraft and the Falcon 2000 Albatros (AVSIMAR), we are also manufacturing the Falcon 2000MSA for the Japan Coast Guard.
Equipped with a Thales active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, this maritime surveillance aircraft offers the optimum combination of size, payload, speed, range, and cost of ownership. We have delivered the first four of the six aircraft ordered.