The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine delta wing
jet fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation.
First introduced in 2000, the French Rafale was built both for land based use with the French Air Force and for carrier based operations with the French Navy.
The Rafale is now in service with the French Air Force with air-to-air and stand off air-to-ground precision attack capabilities.
The Rafale is planned to be the French Air Force's primary combat aircraft until 2040 or later.
In November 2009 the French government ordered an additional 60 aircraft to take the total order for the French Air Force and Navy to 180.
On 4 June 2010, a French Rafale became the first jet fighter of a foreign navy to have its jet engine changed on board an American aircraft carrier, during an exercise on the USS Harry S. Truman. In February 2011, Rafales flew demonstrations in India, including air-to-air combat against Su-30s.
On 19 March 2011, French Rafale jets conducted reconnaissance and strike missions over Libya in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.
On 24 March 2011 a Rafale shot down a Libyan Air Force G-2 Galeb light ground attack/trainer jet. The plane was destroyed by the Rafale on the runway with an AASM air-to-ground missile just after it had landed.
* Crew: 1–2
* Length: 15.27 m (50.1 ft)
* Wingspan: 10.80 m (35.4 ft)
* Height: 5.34 m (17.5 ft)
* Wing area: 45.7 m (492 ft)
* Empty weight: 9,500 kg, 9,770 kg, 10,196 kg
* Loaded weight: 14,016 kg (30,900 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 24,500 kg, 22,200 kg (54,000 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× Snecma M88-2 turbofans
o Dry thrust: 50.04 kN (11,250 lbf) each
o Thrust with afterburner: 75.62 kN (17,000 lbf) each
* Maximum speed:
o High altitude: Mach 2 (2,390 km/h, 1,290 knots)
o Low altitude: 1,390 km/h, 750 knots
* Range: 3,700+ km (2,000+ nmi)
* Combat radius: 1,852+ km (1,000+ nmi) on penetration mission .
* Service ceiling: 16,800 m (55,000 ft)
* Rate of climb: 304.8+ m/s (60,000+ ft/min)
* Wing loading: 306 kg/m² (62.8 lb/ft²)
* Thrust/weight: 1.10 (100% fuel, 2 EM A2A missile, 2 IR A2A missile)
* Guns: 1× 30 mm (1.18 in) GIAT 30/719B cannon with 125 rounds
* Hardpoints: 14 For Armée de l'Air version (Rafale B,C), 13 for Aéronavale version (Rafale M) with a capacity of 9,500 kg (21,000 lb) external fuel and ordnance
+ MICA IR/EM or
+ Magic II and in the future
+ MBDA Meteor
+ MBDA Apache or
+ SCALP EG or
+ AASM or
+ GBU-12 Paveway II or
+ AM 39 Exocet or
+ ASMP-A nuclear missile
o Thales Damocles targeting pod
o RECO NG reconnaissance pod
o up to 5 drop tanks
o The Rafale can also carry a buddy-buddy refuelling pod
* Thales RBE2 radar
* Thales SPECTRA electronic warfare system.
* Thales/SAGEM OSF (Optronique Secteur Frontal) infrared search and track system.