Two new Rafales delivered to “Cote d’Argent” Squadron
After being handed over to the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) on September 12, 2013, the two-seat Rafale registered B 339—the first production 4th tranche production aircraft—arrived on September 17 at Air Base 118 in Mount de-Marsan. A week later, it was the turn of the second aircraft, registered B 340, to join the ranks of Squadron 5/330 “Silver Coast,” the Rafale flight trials unit.
The 60 Rafale fighters of the 4th production lot (or tranche) are all fitted, as standard, with next-generation sensors, namely the RBE2 EASA radar with active antenna, the DDM NG new generation missile launch detector, and the frontal sector optronics for target identification and range-finding.
The Rafale is the first European combat aircraft in service to benefit from AESA technology (active electronically scanned array radar/active antenna), which can significantly improve the detection range. It is the culmination of over 10 years of research and development efforts on active antennas.
To date, 180 production aircraft have been ordered by the DGA and 122 aircraft delivered in three versions: 38 Rafale M single-seat carrier fighters for the Navy, 40 Rafale B two-seaters and 44 Rafale C single-seaters for the air force.