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Dassault Rafale M Aircraft Data

Photo ID 9660 by Christophe Haentjens. France Navy Dassault Rafale M, 3
Single-seat, multi-role, carrier-based fighter.

The Dassault Rafale is the most protracted development project in French aviation history. Starting in the late 1980's, the Rafale was developed to replace the existing fleet of aircraft used in the Armee del Aire and Aeronavale. The Naval variant, Rafale M, had the priority of development, since it was set to replace the Vought F-8E Crusader.

The Rafale is a twin-engined design, unlike the Crusader or Super Etendard. A massive and reinforced undercarriage permit the Rafale to handle the stress of carrier operations. The Rafale has seen action of Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom. Testing and training has seen the Rafale operate from U.S. Carriers alongside their Navy and Marine Corps counterparts.

The specific nature and cost of the Rafale has kept it out of the export market, despite being a very potent design. Brazil has come the closest to acquiring the Rafale for their FX2 fighter competition. Libya, Morocco, and India have shown strong interest in acquisition, but have yet to submit any orders.
  • Country of Origin: France
  • First Flight: 7/4/86
  • Initial Service Date: 2002
  • No. Built: 68
  • No. In Service: 64 (approx.)
  • No. of Hardpoints: 13
  • Crew: 1

Power:

2 x SNECMA M 88-2 after-burning turbofans at 17,000 lbf

Weapons:

1 × 30 mm GIAT 30/719B cannon w/125 rds
MICA IR/EM AAM
Magic II AAM
MBDA Meteor AAM
MBDA Apache or SCALP EG stand-off missile
GBU-12 Paveway II LGB
AM 39 Exocet anti-ship missile
ASMP-A nuclear missile

Dimensions:

Length: 50 ft. 1 in.
Wing Span: 35.76 in.
Wing Area: 495.14 sq.ft
Height: 17 ft. 6 in.
Empty Weight: 22,748 lbs
Max. Weight: 52,911 lbs
Max. Ordnance Load: 21,000 lbs
Max. Payload: 30,000 lbs

Performance:

Max. Speed: 1,473 mph
Service Ceiling: 50,000 ft.
Normal Range: 1,000 nm

Operators:

France (Armee del Aire B/C, Aeronavale M)

Random great photos of the Dassault Rafale M:

Photo ID 143314 by Philipp Hayer. France Navy Dassault Rafale M, 31
Photo ID 49833 by Jason Grant. France Navy Dassault Rafale M, 19
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Photo ID 146255 by Andreas Zeitler - Flying-Wings. France Navy Dassault Rafale M, 40
Photo ID 51563 by Ales Hottmar. France Navy Dassault Rafale M, 16
Photo ID 7655 by Martin Keen. France Navy Dassault Rafale M, 2