Back to news

February 1, 2021 | International, Aerospace

France begins backfilling its Rafale fleet after selling some to Greece


PARIS – The French Air and Space Force will be getting 12 new Rafales to replace those being removed from its inventory to sell to Greece, Defense Minister Florence Parly said on Friday.

The announcement comes a few weeks later than originally planned. Florence Parly had told the National Assembly's Defense Commission last fall that the order would be placed with Dassault Aviation, the Rafale's manufacturer, before the end of 2020. But that was on the provision that the $3 billion contract with Greece for 18 Rafales had been signed by then.

That Greek contract was signed four days ago so Parly took the opportunity of a visit to Dassault Aviation's flight controls factory in Argonay, in the French Alps on Jan. 29 to announce the new order. Eric Trappier, Dassault's CEO, had earlier underlined the fact that “Dassault is the only aircraft manufacturer in the world to design and produce its own flight controls.”

Contracts to Dassault Aviation, Safran (the engine manufacturer) and Thales (the electronics) will be sent out by the DGA procurement agency in the next few days. While no price tag was given during Parly's announcement, Trappier has previously said one fully equipped fighter costs around 100 million euros, or $121 million, which would put the total package at just under $1.5 billion.

Parly said the 12 new aircraft would be built to the latest F3R standard. She added, “We sold 18 Rafales to Greece so it is indeed 18 Rafales that Dassault will have to produce.” Speaking at the factory, the defense minister said one Rafale would come off the production line per month, “which represents 7,000 jobs, jobs within Dassault of course, but also within the 500 or so small and medium enterprises that work with you.” She added that in the current economic context “this is good and reassuring news”.

The French Air and Space Force will have its 12 new aircraft by the end of 2025. Together with the 28 Rafales that Dassault is to deliver between 2022 and 2024, this will bring the total to 129, as projected in the 2019-2025 military program law.

On the same subject

  • Germany has no plans at moment to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine - Bild | Reuters

    October 5, 2023 | International, Land

    Germany has no plans at moment to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine - Bild | Reuters

    Germany currently has no plans to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles because they are not comparable to missiles provided by France and Britain, Bild newspaper reported on Wednesday.

  • US Army taps CACI-owned company for jamming kit that troops can carry

    September 18, 2023 | International, Land

    US Army taps CACI-owned company for jamming kit that troops can carry

    The manpack variant is expected to move from prototype to production in fiscal 2024, according to the service.

  • Soldiers Can Now Control MQ-1C Gray Eagle via Tablet on Ground

    May 17, 2021 | International, C4ISR

    Soldiers Can Now Control MQ-1C Gray Eagle via Tablet on Ground

    Soldiers on the ground can now control the airstrikes conducted by a MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone via a tablet. On Thursday, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) said it demonstrated enhanced situational awareness and targeting capability for ground forces during a company-funded technology demonstration at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona. The demonstration focused on enabling a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) to control the Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor on a Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and rapidly call for direct and indirect fire on an array of targets. The JTAC was able to see GE-ER video, aircraft location, and sensor field of regard utilizing an Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK) and a TrellisWare TW-950 TSM Shadow Radio. Utilizing the GE-ER's open-architecture, the JTAC was able to send digital ‘Call for Fires' to request artillery support, and a digital 9-line for Close Air Support with the push of a few buttons. The GE-ER, configured for Multi-Domain Operations, autonomously re-routed its flight path to provide the sensor data that the JTAC requested without commands from the GE-ER operator. This demonstration is another step in a series of demonstrations that began in November 2019. The use of this newly developed technology marks a significant improvement in situational awareness compared to the use of voice communications. The technology improved efficiency, reduced latency, and reduced risk of collateral damage. In addition, the JTAC's ability to orient GE-ER sensors on targets from an ATAK tablet reduces man-in-the-loop errors and increases targeting speed. These advancements are critical elements to current and future armed conflicts that reduce the risk to Soldiers forward on the battlefield.

All news