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Resumption of Delivery of Rafale to France

Rafale B 359 [© DGA-EV: Christophe Ordonneau]

Resumption of delivery of Rafale combat aircraft, produced by Dassault Aviation, to the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.


Press Release, Paris, 12 January 2023: [auto-translated] The General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) received the two-seater Rafale ‘B359’ on December 29, 2022 at the Dassault Aviation site in Mérignac (Gironde). This is the first Rafale produced by Dassault Aviation for the Ministry of the Armed Forces since 2018. In the meantime, the Rafale assembly lines have been devoted to export, making it possible to deliver 100 of the 224 new aircraft ordered to date by six other countries.

The B359 is the first example of a batch of 40 aircraft intended for the French Air and Space Force (39) and DGA Essais en vol (one aircraft dedicated to trials) which will be delivered by at the end of 2025, of which thirteen are scheduled for 2023. At the end of this, a total of 192* new Rafale will have been delivered to the Ministry of the Armed Forces since the end of September 1999. An order for 42 additional Rafale for the benefit of the forces is scheduled for 2023.

Rafale B 359 [© DGA-EV]

The Rafale combat aircraft is an armament programme of the Ministry of the Armed Forces led by the DGA, according to development by successive standards, for the benefit of the Air and Space Force and the French Navy. To date, since 1993, 192 Rafales have been ordered by the DGA from the Rafale economic interest grouping (composed of the companies Dassault Aviation, Safran and Thales), including 152 already delivered before delivery of the B359. The 152nd aircraft, the two-seater Rafale B358, was delivered to the Air and Space Force in November 2018. Since then, deliveries for France have been interrupted in favour of exclusive manufacturing for the benefit of Rafale export customers.

The two-seater Rafale B359 is the first plane of a batch of 40 planes which will be delivered by the end of 2025, all intended for the Air Force and Space with the exception of the last intended to be transformed into aircraft testbed for the benefit of development testing. This batch of 40 aircraft includes 12 aircraft, ordered in early 2021 to replace 12 Rafales sold second-hand to Greece.

Rafale B 359 [© DGA-EV]

The Rafale B359 was received at the F3R standard, that of the entire Rafale fleet currently in service with the French armies. However, compared to aircraft in service, it also incorporates hardware and software upgrades, directly resulting from developments carried out in the context of export. The Rafale B359 will be used to implement the F4.1** standard , currently being approved by the DGA technical authority with a view to its start of deployment in 2023.

* including four dedicated to industrial development tests (two two-seaters, one air single-seater and one navy single-seater), 142 for the Air and Space Force, 45 for the French Navy and one for the General Directorate of ‘Armament.

** The F4.1 standard is the first brick of the F4 standard. It includes collaborative air combat capabilities, the integration of AASM 1000kg armament, and a reinforcement of the aircraft against cyber threats.


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