YouTube – Dassault Rafale
one or two
2- 16,860 lbs ea.
50 ft. 2 in.
35 ft. 9 in.
1- 30 mm
The Dassault Rafale French multi role fighter originated from the Dassault Avion de Combat Esperimentale (ACX) program. The demonstrator aircraft first flew on July 4, 1986 and was eventually simply designated as Rafale A.
The demonstrator’s general design, avionics, two engines, and fly by wire systems were improved upon, modified, and eventually utilized in the Dassault Rafale. Prototype Dassault Rafale aircraft were slightly larger than the demonstrator, by about three percent. They are produced in single seat, two seat, and a navalized version. The single seat aircraft, designated model C is designed for air superiority. The two seat aircraft, model B, is used as a trainer and multi-role aircraft. The navalized version, designated model M, has a single seat and is used for maritime attack and defense.
All three Dassault Rafale versions are powered by the SNECMA M88-2 turbojet engines. They also share flight control systems and other avionics, Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar (AESA), Hands On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS), Head Up Display (HUD), helmet weapons aiming, a pair of cockpit multi-function displays, and direct voice input.
The newest Dassault Rafale aircraft will incorporate F-3R standard software enhancements integrating the Meteor beyond visual range air to air missile, SBU-64 smart bombs, upgrade self-defense systems and a IFF full mode S and 5 compatibility transponder/ interrogator. The Thales/MBDA Fire Control Radar Protection and Avoidance System self protection suite is being upgraded to better provide detection of infrared, electromagnetic, missile and laser threats. Self diagnostic maintenance systems are also being upgraded.
The canard and delta wing of the Dassault Rafale make short field operation possible while providing extreme maneuverability throughout a wide speed range. Infra red and electromagnetic emissions are minimized in its design. Construction is light weight, yet strong, employing bonded titanium and aluminum alloys, Kevlar and carbon fibres.
The production Dassault Rafale model C first flew on May 19, 1991. Next came the Dassault Rafale model M on December 12, 1991, followed by the model B on April 30, 1993.
It was originally anticipated that up to 234 Dassault Rafale aircraft of all types would be produced with deliveries from 1998 to 2005. However the program experienced numerous delays due to budget cuts and differing defense priorities.
Dassault Rafale aircraft saw action over Libya where they engage ground targets and provided reconnaissance. They flew missions attacking rebel positions in support of the government of Mali. Dassault Rafale aircraft have also been involved with attacking ISIS positions in support of the government of Iraq.
France has ordered 180 Dassault Rafale aircraft with 152 delivered to date.
Egypt has ordered 24 Dassault Rafale aircraft with 17 delivered to date.
Qatar has ordered 36 Dassault Rafale aircraft with no deliveries to date.
The Dassault Rafale was the winner of the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft Competition resulting in the sale of 36 of the aircraft to India. Initial deliveries are expected in 2019 with final deliveries by 2025.
Jan. 14, 2019: Dassault Aviation is receiving US$2.3 billion from France for 28 upgrade Rafale aircraft with deliveries starting in 2023. Upgrades include improved IR and UV sensors and increasing system data transfer speeds. Enhanced ordnance includes air to air missiles and precision guided air to ground munitions.
Some 175 Dassault Rafale aircraft of all types have been produced to date.
RC Dassault Rafale
The RC Dassault Rafale shown above was built by Francis Laurens from an Aviation Design kit. It has an 83 1/2 in. wingspan and is 126 in. long. Construction is from molded composites. Power can be from a single 66 to 73 lb. thrust turbojet engine or a pair of turbojet engines with from 35 to 40 lbs. thrust each. All up weight is around 77 lbs.
RC Lander has a RC Dassault Rafale kit that builds to a wingspan of 33 in. and length of 43 in. It comes with two EDF 68-1AP 3900 kV units and retracts. Weight is about 3 1/2 lbs.
The RC Dassault Rafale from General Hobby comes as RTF. It has a 27 in. wingspan and is 40 in. long. Included is a 4 ch. radio and receiver, 400-4300 kV motor turning a 64 mm EDF unit and 11.1V 1600 mAh Li Po flight battery.