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01:31 PM, January 10, 2019
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Rafale F3-R Standard version delivery (Image: French Navy)

The French Navy has received its first Rafale F3-R standard carrier version fighter jet.

The first flight was made from the Landivisiau platform on December 17, 2018, at 16:15. The aircraft will initially be operated by CEPA / 10 which will provide several tests and then will allow the naval aviation wing to declare the operational commissioning of the standard F3-R. The aircraft will be part of Flotilla 11F, the first unit to be armed by this aircraft standard, the French Navy said in a statement Wednesday.

The new F3-R model is integrated with Meteor long-range missile and new generation Talios laser designated pod. Other developments include the installation of an Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS) and various improvements to the RBE2 radar, the Spectra electronic warfare system, the Reco NG pod and the inertial navigation system, the statement read.

With the F3-R standard, the Rafale Marine will also be equipped with a next-generation air refueling pod, making the aircraft capable of using the laser-guided version of the AASM (Modular Air-Ground Armament).

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