France qualifies Rafale F3-R standard
The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has officially qualified the new F3-R standard for the Rafale.
On 31st October, the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) qualified the new F3-R standard for the Rafale, in accordance with the objectives set at the time of the contract award to Dassault Aviation, Thales, MBDA and Safran in early 2014.
The capabilities of Rafales ordered by export customers (India, Qatar and Egypt) are based on the F3-R standard.
All 144 Rafale aircraft currently in service with the French Air Force will be upgraded to the F3-R standard, as announced in October. The first ten Rafale F3-Rs, four of which will be delivered before the end of the year, will be used by the French Air Force and the French Navy to complete operational trials, which are already under way.
The two major capabilities introduced with the F3-R standard are the arrival of the Meteor very long-range air-to-air missile (coupled with the Rafale's RBE2 AESA radar) and the new-generation Talios targeting pod, providing enhanced target detection, recognition and identification, day and night, for high-precision air-to-ground strikes.
The new F3-R standard also takes account of operational feedback, particularly for the AASM modular air-to-ground weapon, as well as interoperability and regulatory requirements.