WOWS THE CROWD

New Straits Times - - News -

in­tro­duce you to the Das­sault Rafale, hero of the air).”

Martinez, whose call­sign is “Marty”, said he learnt the sen­tences from Malaysians and wrote them down on a piece of pa­per, read­ing from it dur­ing the slow pass.

“This way, it is less noisy and the au­di­ence can hear it,” he said.

Martinez has over 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the French Air Force, and over 3,300 fly­ing hours on mil­i­tary air­craft.

Pre­vi­ously, he flew the Mi­rage 2000 be­fore switch­ing to Rafale. On Rafale, Martinez has over 1,400 fly­ing hours and has been in com­bat in Africa.

Asked about the ad­van­tages of the Rafale, Martinez said the air­craft was multi-role, so sev­eral mis­sions could be done by just one plane.

“We can do all the mis­sions we have to do, like air-to-air mis­sion, air-to-ground mis­sion, air-to­sur­face mis­sion. We can do all these dif­fer­ent mis­sions in the same flight.

“For in­stance, we can per­form an air-to-air mis­sion and at the same time a recce (re­con­nai­sance) mis­sion. So you can fly the recce pod look­ing for tar­gets or to search for en­e­mies, and you have your radar with your air-toair mis­sile look­ing for some en­e­mies,” he said.

The Rafale, he said, could also be used to lo­cate ter­ror­ists and counter the threat of Is­lamic State.

In Africa, Martinez flew 75 com­bat mis­sions, some of which he used the recce pod to lo­cate tar­gets be­fore re­leas­ing laser guided or GPS guided bombs.

But the Rafale, he said, also had the ad­van­tage of agility, power and ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity, mak­ing it eas­ier for him and other pilots to com­plete their mis­sions.

Asked if he thought the Rafale was suit­able for Royal Malaysian Air Force’s use, Martinez gave a re­sound­ing “yes”.

“For any coun­try that wants a multi-role and om­ni­role air­craft — it is fan­tas­tic. You can do airto-sur­face mis­sions, you can do air-to-air or air-to-ground and it is re­ally a user-friendly air­craft with a good weapons sys­tem. It is re­ally easy to un­der­stand the air­craft and com­mu­ni­cate with it,” he said.

Asked if the hot weather in Malaysia would af­fect the fly­ing of Rafale, Martinez said it was not a prob­lem.

The Rafale, with its sleek frame, has long been a crowd favourite at Lima.

The shows the pilots put on for the au­di­ences here never fail to at­tract at­ten­tion and ad­mi­ra­tion as they make what seem like sharp turns in midair, and climb to dizzy­ing heights, straight up, al­most right from take-off af­ter­burn­ers glow­ing red.

PIC BY DA­NIAL SAAD

Cap­tain Jean-Guil­laume Martinez said he had writ­ten down sen­tences in Ba­hasa Malaysia on a piece of pa­per and read from it dur­ing a slow pass.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.