Dassault Upgrades Early Naval Rafales

naval Rafale F1_Dasault

Dassault Upgrades Early Naval Rafales

Dassault has redelivered to the French Navy the first of 10 Rafale M aircraft that are being upgraded from F1 to F3 standard. The work included replacement of the fighter’s central mission computer, new cockpit screens, wiring and weapons store changes. The Spectra electronic warfare system was also upgraded, and provision to change the RBE2 radar to the latest AESA version was made.

These first 10 operational Rafales were delivered to the Navy at the turn of the century, as an urgent replacement for aging F-8 Crusaders. They were limited to air superiority missions, not least because of the small capacity of the central mission computer. Subsequent Rafale deliveries were to the F2 standard, with much greater versatility, Dassault explained. The current F3 standard provides complete multirole versatility, the company added.

Of the 180 Rafales ordered by France, 133 have now been delivered. Production continues at a slow rate of 11 per year. The fleet has now amassed 120,000 flight hours, of which some 16,000 have been on combat operations over Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Central Africa, and now Iraq.

Source: AINonline

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