Friday, March 24, 2017

First Sniper flight on the Rafale

©Swingwing / defensaero
2017/03/21, Istres air base, France
The flight trials of the Lockheed Martin Sniper Advanced targeting pod have started on the Rafale C101. The american pod is integrated for the Qatari Rafale.

Source :

Rafale F4 standard launched

Paris, March 22nd 2017, French defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced that he had authorized the development of the Rafale F4 standard. The first Rafale F4 should be delivered in 2025 but some of the features of this new version will be available as early as 2023.

The key improvements would be the following: 
  • Improved net-centric capabilities (New data links, satcom)
  • RBE-2 AESA upgrade 
  • SPECTRA upgrade
  • OSF IRST (New IR channel for the OSF)
  • M88 engine upgrade (AB thrust > 8 T)
  • Mica NG missile integration
  • AASM missile upgrade
Le Drian also confirmed that a 5th production tranche should be ordered during the next LPM (Multi-year military procurement plan)


Previous Rafale standards contents                          
  • LF1 standard (2000/05/01)
    • R550 Magic 2
  • F1 standard (2001/12/01)
    • 30M791 gun A2A modes
    • Mica EM
    • SPECTRA                            
  • F2.1 standard (2005/12/01)
    • Hadrware update
    • MDPU
    • MIDS-Link16
    • Upgraded SPECTRA
    • OSF
    • Sensor fusion
    • SCALP
    • MICA-IR                            
  • F2.2 standard (01/06/2006)
    • SBU-38
    • Upgraded SPECTRA
    • Obsolescences updates
  • F3.0 standard (01/07/2008)
    • Hardware update
    • Long range MICA-IR modes
    • High resolution Radar MAP
    • Upgraded IFF
    • SLPRM V4-2
  • F3.1 standard (2009/06/01)
    • Common F3 software for retrofited F2 and F3-O aircrafts
  • F3.2 standard (2010/03/01)
    • Full LGB capability
    • Damocles-MP
    • GBU-12/22
    • SBU-64
    • 30M791 gun A2G modes
    • AM39 block 2 mod 2
    • ASMP-A
    • AREOS recce pod
  • F3.3 standard (2012/01/01)
    • MIDS-Link16 upgrade
    • RBE-2 AESA
    • OSF-IT
    • DDM-NG
    • New MFD
    • Improved HUD transparancy
    • Upgraded IFF
  • F3.3' standard (2013/05/01)
    • GBU-24
    • AESA antenna compatibility with tranche 1, 2, 3 aircrafts
  • F3.4+ standard (2014/12/01)
    • MGRS format GPS data input
    • Updated HUD safety symbology and warning
    • New take off abortion warning (max brake energy capability)
    • Real time ground following mode switch (radar-digital mapping)
  • F3R standard (2018/10/01)   
    • Meteor
    • Talios LDP
    • AGCAS
    • IFF mode 5/S
    • Link 16 upgrade
    • RBE-2 PESA upgrade
    • SPECTRA upgrade
    • AREOS pod upgrade
    • Full SBU-54 integration
    • AASM fuse programmation upgrade
    • GBU-16 integration
    • NARANG refueling pod                           

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Video, Super-Etendard farewell

The super-Etendard has been officialy retired on July 12th 2016 after 38 years of active service in the French Navy (42 years since its first flight)
To celebrate this (sad) event, Angel offers us this beautiful homage to the sailors who served on this superb machine.
It is worth noting that the retirement of the Super-Etendard happened the same month as the very first trials of the nEUROn UCAV with the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier...

From now on, the only fighter jet operated by the French Navy is the Rafale M F3.

In the press, the secrets of the Rafale first flight

For French readers, don't miss the last issue of  'Le Fana de L'aviation" and its 20 pages article about the first flight of the Rafale A which took place 30 years ago (July, 4 1986).

Also read : Rafale A first flight 25th anniversary

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Russian TU-160 intercepted by a Rafale and a Mirage 2000-5

Credit Royal Air Force
1 Rafale and 1 Mirage 2000-5 were scrambled on February 17th to intercept 2 Russian TU-160 (RF-94101 and RF-94104).
Typhoon from the RAF were also involved in the interception.