Dassault Rafale Multi Role Fighter of Dassault Aviation of France – Burst of Fire – 4th Generation Plus Aircraft
Dassault Rafale Multi Role Fighter of Dassault Avaition of France is a French twin engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter. The Rafale is referred to as an “Omnirole” aircraft by Dassault.
The Dassault Rafale will form the cornerstone of French air power until well into the 21st century. The programme began with the Rafale A technology demonstrator that was first flown on 4 July 1986. This established the basic aerodynamic design and evaluated the delta canard configuration, performance, FBW control system and composite-based structure. The generic Rafale D (Discret, or stealthy) – prototype for the Armee de l’Air versions – is slightly smaller and lighter.
Dassault Rafale Avionics
The Rafale features some of the very latest avionics systems including RBE2 multi-mode radar (the first in Europe with two-plane electronic scanning), advanced pilot’s helmet with sight and display, Spectra countermeasures system and OSF – a jam-resistant passive optronic surveillance and imaging system with laser rangefinder.
The Aeronavale will acquire the single-seat Rafale M interceptors and strike/attack aircraft for operation from the carrier Charles de Gaulle. This is similar to land-based counterparts but features major reinforcement of the landing gear, plus a jump-strut that allows automatic unstick rotation.
The Aeronavale’s has a requirement for 86 aircraft, but procurement is likely to be limited to 60 aircraft initially. The Armee de l’Air plans to acquire 82 single-seat Rafale Cs and 130 two-seat Rafale Cs. These will be designated as Rafale F and will be delivered in several standards: F1 optimised for the air-to-air role but lacking ASMP capability, OSF and Spectra; F2 with improved air-to-surface capability (including the SCALP SOM dispenser) and the definitive Rafale F3 with improved radar.
The 20 907-lb st (93.00-kN) M88-3 turbofan will become standard later in the programme. Milestones were marked with the first flights of the prototype Rafale C in May 1991 and Rafale M in December 1991, and the Rafale B in April 1993. The Rafale M is the first operational Rafale variant, which entered service in 2001. The Armee de l’Air received F1-specification Rafales in 2002.