The General Delegation for Armaments (DGA) has delivered on 1 July 2008 as the qualification of the totally versatile version of the Rafale aircraft, called the standard "F3". The first aircraft produced in standard F3 will be delivered to forces from early 2009. The aircraft already in service will be up to the new standard.
The Rafale F2-standard, currently in service in the Air Force and the Navy, already allows to provide air defense missions (with the missile interception MICA) and ground attack (with the missile long-range cruise-SCALP EG and arming AASM for shooting accuracy). The standard F3 provides the capabilities of attack anti-ship (with the missile AM39) and air reconnaissance (with the nacelle RECO NG), as well as nuclear deterrence (with the missile ASMPA).
The Rafale is a multi-role aircraft, operational all-weather, day and night, designed to ensure all tasks currently performed by different types of fighter aircraft in response. Established in single and two-seater versions, it is in service in the navy since 2004 and the Air Force since 2006. The Rafale will be ultimately the only aircraft of the air component of combat. 120 Rafale have been ordered so far and 58 have been delivered (35 to the Air Force and the Navy 23).
The first operational deployment of the Rafale was conducted from aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in 2004 as part of Operation Hercules (French participation in Operation Enduring Freedom). Since January 2005 the Rafale is involved in ongoing operational above the French territory. The Rafale perform periodically since March 2007 missions supporting ground troops engaged in Afghanistan.
The realization of the Rafale is particularly assured by the companies groups Dassault, Thales and MBDA and Safran.
Source: The Rafale Standard F3 obtained his qualification
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