JEROEN VOGELAAR: Aviation Photographs

Rafale M

Dassault Rafale

Dassault Rafale M 38 French Navy

The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta-wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, and nuclear strike missions.

  • Role: Multirole fighter aircraft
  • National origin: France
  • Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation
  • First flight: 4 July 1986
  • Introduction: 18 May 2001
  • Status: In service
  • Produced: 1986–present
  • Number built: 133 (as of October 2014)

Military operators

  • French Air Force 180 have been ordered
  • French Navy
  • Egyptian Air Force 24 on order

Variants

  • Rafale A – Technology demonstrator, first flying in 1986
  • Rafale B – Two-seater version for the French Air Force
  • Rafale C – Single-seat version for the French Air Force
  • Rafale M – Carrier-borne version for the French Naval Aviation

Specifications

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1–2
  • Length: 15.27 m (50.1 ft)
  • Wingspan: 10.80 m (35.4 ft)
  • Height: 5.34 m (17.5 ft)
  • Wing area: 45.7 m² (492 ft²)
  • Empty weight:
    • C: 9,500 kilograms (20,900 lb)
    • B: 9,770 kilograms (21,540 lb)
    • M: 10,196 kilograms (22,480 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 14,016 kg (30,900 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 24,500 kg (C/D), 22,200 kg (M) (54,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Snecma M88-2 turbofans
    • Dry thrust: 50.04 kN (11,250 lbf) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 75.62 kN (17,000 lbf) each
  • Fuel capacity: 4,700 kg (10,360 lb) internal

Performance

  • Maximum speed:
    • High altitude: Mach 1.8 (1,912 km/h, 1,032 knots)
    • Low altitude: Mach 1.1 (1,390 km/h, 750 knots)
  • Range: 3,700+ km (2,000+ nmi)  with 3 drop tanks
  • Combat radius: 1,852+ km (1,000+ nmi) on penetration mission
  • Service ceiling: 15,235 m (50,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 304.8+ m/s (60,000+ ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 306 kg/m² (62.8 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.988 (100% fuel, 2 EM A2A missile, 2 IR A2A missile) version M
  • Maximum g-load: +9/–3.6 g

Armament

  • Guns: 1× 30 mm (1.18 in) GIAT 30/M791 autocannon with 125 rounds
  • Hardpoints: 14 for Air Force versions (Rafale B/C), 13 for Navy version (Rafale M) with a capacity of 9,500 kg (20,900 lb) external fuel and ordnance and provisions to carry combinations of:
    • Missiles:
      • MBDA MICA IR or EM or Magic II and
      • MBDA Meteor air-to-air missiles in the future
    • Air-to-ground:
      • MBDA Apache or
      • Storm Shadow-SCALP EG or
      • AASM-Hammer or
      • GBU-12 Paveway II or GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II
      • GBU-24 Paveway III
      • AS-30L
    • Air-to-surface:
      • AM 39-Exocet
      • CVS401-Perseus
    • Deterrence:
      • ASMP-A nuclear missile
    • Other:
      • Thales Damocles targeting pod
      • AREOS (Airborne Recce Observation System)reconnaissance pod
      • up to 5 drop tanks
      • Buddy-buddy refuelling pod

Avionics

  • Thales RBE2 radar
  • Thales SPECTRA electronic warfare system.
  • Thales/SAGEM-OSF Optronique Secteur Frontal infra-red search and track system.