Dassault Aviation receives order for 42 Rafale combat aircraft for French Air Force

At the end of December 2023, the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) awarded Dassault Aviation an order for 42 Rafale combat aircraft, known as “tranche 5”, for the French Air Force (AAE).

The Rafale is a technical, operational, and commercial success which continues to position France at a world-class level in combat aircraft.

Noteworthy, the Rafale combat aircraft has been designed to evolve by successive standards, in order to adapt the latest technologies to user needs.

As of now, Standard 4, focusing particularly on connectivity, is under development.

While, Standard 5, which is currently preparing for launch, will bring new capabilities in collaborative combat.

The Rafale is a success in the export market, with seven customer countries to date.

The order book, plus the new “tranche 5” contract, secure production activity for the next ten years.

About Rafale Combat Aircraft

The Rafale is the world’s only fully “omni-role” aircraft and can be operated from a land base or an aircraft carrier.

Further, it can carry 1.5 times its own weight in weapons and fuel. It was designed to perform all combat aviation missions:

  • air-to-air intercept and combat with a 30mm gun, Mica IR/EM missiles and Meteor long-range missiles
  • close air support (CAS) with a 30mm gun, GBU laser-guided bombs and AASM GPS-guided bombs
  • deep strikes with Scalp/Storm Shadow cruise missiles
  • anti-ship attack with Exocet AM39 Block 2 missiles and other air-to-surface weapons
  • real-time tactical and strategic reconnaissance with the Areos pod
  • in-flight refueling from one Rafale to another (“buddy-buddy”)
  • nuclear deterrence (France only) with the ASMP-A missile

The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and the French Air Force in 2006, gradually replacing the previous generations of seven types of combat aircraft.

It has proven itself in combat in various theatres: Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq, and Syria.

To date, France has placed orders for five tranches of Rafales as follows: 13 Rafales in 1993; 48 in 1999; 59 in 2004; 60 in 2009; and 42 in 2023.

Also, in 2021, France placed a special order for 12 Rafale combat aircraft to replace the 12 aircraft transferred to Greece. French orders therefore total 234 Rafale aircraft.

Total export orders currently stand at 261 Rafales (new aircraft):

  • Egypt: 55
  • Qatar: 36
  • India: 36
  • Greece: 12
  • United Arab Emirates: 80
  • Indonesia: 42 (including 18 for 2024)

In addition, Greece and Croatia have each acquired 12 Rafales from the French Air Force.

About Dassault Aviation

With over 10,000 military and civil aircraft (including 2,700 Falcons) delivered in more than 90 countries over the last century, Dassault Aviation has built up expertise recognized worldwide in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, ranging from the Rafale fighter, to the high-end Falcon family of business jets, military drones and space systems.

 In 2022, Dassault Aviation reported revenues of €6.9 billion. The company has 12,700 employees

Source: https://www.dassault-aviation.com/en/group/press/press-kits/dassault-aviation-receives-an-order-for-42-rafales-for-the-french-air-and-space-force/