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Rafale (France)

The Rafale is a very impressive twin-engine supersonic, deltawing with canards fighter jet, developed by the French company Dassault Aviation for the French Air Force and Navy. The Rafale design characterize by the superior aerodynamics, avionics and engine thrust. The rafale can be armored with air-to-air weapons and air-to-ground weapons from French and USA origin.

Demo op Le Bourget 2007

Specifications (Rafale)
Design organisation Dassault Aviation
Main secundary design organisations Snecma
Production organisaton Dassault, Bordeaux-Mérignac, France
Primary task Multi-role fighter
Type aircraft 4th++ generation fighter jet
Length 15.27 meters
Height 5.34 meters
Wingspan 10.80 meters
Wingsurface 45.70 square meters
Aspect ratio  
Sweep back  
Engines 2x Snecma M88-2E1 engines with afterburner or the newer version M88-2E4
Thrust 11.250 to 17.000 lb
Weight (empty) 10 ton class
Weight (start, maximum, MTOW) 24.500 kg
Weight (landing, maximum, MLW)  
Required runway length (start)  
Required runway length (landing) 450 meters
Cruise speed  
Maximum speed > Mach 1.8
Ceiling 55.000 ft
Maximum range > 1000 nautical miles during an interceptor mission
Fuel capacity 4.700 kg (intern), 6.800 kg (extern)
Air-to-air-refueling + capacity Yes
Passengers none
Payload none
Armament Standard: Defa 791 30-mm boardcanon
Mica air-to-air missiles, Scalp/Storm Shadow long-range stand-off missile, exocet anti-ship missiles, laser guided bombs, conventional air-to-surface bombs and user specify weapons
Future: AASM air-to-ground weapons, meteor long-range air-to-air missiles
Maximum weapon load 9 ton extern weapon load
Maximum G resistance +9G / -3.2G
Type flight controls Fly-by-wire system: quadruple redundant with 3 digital channels and 1 separate designed analog channel (no mechanical backup)
Landing gear 2 main gears, each with 1 tire, 1 nose gear with 2 tires
Versions Rafale M, Rafale C, Rafale B
Manufactured in production
Crew 1 or 2
Overall flight hours  
First flight  
First delivery  
Operational since 2005
Successor of Navy: F-8 Crusader, Super-Etendard.
Air Force: Jaguar, Mirage F-1, Mirage 2000C, Mirage 2000 N en D, Mirage IV. (but not all aircraft are/have been replaced)
Replaced by n.a. 
Comparable aircraft  
Operators (current and future) Egypt, Croatia, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Qatar, United Arabian Emirates
Main operators France
Amphibious usage Yes
Status In operational service

The Rafale has been ordered by:

1. France
2. Croatia
3. Egypt
4. Greece
5. India
6. Indonesia
7. Qatar
8. United Arabian Emirates

1. France
The French ministry of defence has ordered 120 Rafale's (82 for the Air Force and 38 for the Navy) but will order more. The first version was the Rafale M which is already operational with the French Navy. On 25 June 2004 the first squadron became operational.
The Rafale M fighters will operate from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. The Rafale has replaced the F-8 Crusader which is already out of service since the 90th. The first navy squadron came operational in 2004. In Januari 2013, French rafales were used in bomb attacks in Mali.

2. Croatia
Croatia ordered 12 rafales in may 2021. These were formerly used by the French Air Force.

4. Greece 
Greece ordered an initially batch of 18 rafales. The first six (6) were delivered on 19 January 2022 and will be used by the 322 squadron from Tanagra Air Force Base.

5. India 
India has ordered 126 Rafales.

6. Indonesia
Indonesia ordered 42 rafales in february 2022.

7. Qatar
Qatar ordered 24 Rafales in may 2015 and 12 more in december 2017.

8. United Arabian Emirates
The United Arabian Emirates (UAE) ordered 80 Rafales F4 in december 2021.

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Last updated: 31 March 2022