WOWS THE CROWD
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.
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.