While attending the 9th edition of LAAD, aircraft-maker Dassault Aviation has promised to deliver the most wide-ranging material to be incorporated on the Rafale aircraft which is in the running for the Brazilin F-X2 program.
According to reports, the Rafale is being upgraded to a new standard with major software upgrades and will known as the Rafale F3R.
The upgrade will complement the enhanced Thales RBE2 active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar which will allow the aircraft to deploy the MBDA Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), along with affording improvements to the aircraft's Thales SPECTRA self-defence system and Mode-5/Mode-S-compatible Identification Friend or Foe interrogator/transponder.
In 2012, the French defence procurement agency (DGA) revealed that it awarded a contract to Dassault to complete a risk reduction study for an upgrade of the Rafale combat.
The first production Rafale, equipped with the RBE2 radar, was handed over to the DGA in October and is currently undergoing flight testing. Meanwhile, weapons separation tests of the Meteor missile were completed with the Rafale during the same month.
The French Air Force recently took delivery of the first Rafale aircraft equipped with AESA radar RBE2 and completed the final qualifying phase of the laser-guided AASM variant, the SBU-54.
Both combined with the latest generation of missile warning systems and various improvements in human-machine interface made the game omnirole become even more efficient, lethal, sustainable, reliable and easy to maintain.
The AESA radar technology RBE2 also adds a number of operating improvements to the aircraft, as increased by about 50% of the range and improve the ability of the radar.
The angular coverage is improved, enhancing the ability to detect targets of smaller signature.
Since the final qualification tests of the SBU-54 variant of the AASM "Hammer" was performed and completed in 2012, the French armed forces have begun using the weapon accurately this year.
HAMMER is equipped with a docked tail and a range extension kit, which includes a powerful rocket engine and wings with automatic opening. Thanks to its reach long distances (over 60 km for a launch at high altitude, or 15 km if launched at low altitude), it is possible to achieve air defense systems and keep safely out of reach.
Even more important is the ability to engage six different targets in a single pass. With the AASM, the Rafale does not have to overfly the target to perform its task accurately.
Last year, the first test firing of the missile propulsion Ramjet Meteor paved the way for the adoption of new advanced tactical air defense superiority and self-sufficiency, which will revolutionize the way Rafales operating in air-to-air mode.
The test firing of Meteor missiles complement the compatibility tests with aircraft carriers, already made in nuclear ship Charles de Gaulle, to ensure that the new missile support the shocks associated with catapult launches and landings aboard. Its part of an overall program of integration that will culminate with the entry into service of the new Meteor missile, in 2018, which will provide a zone of guaranteed success many times larger than the current missile.
Other improvements ordered by the French Ministry of Defence include the Mode 5 IFF, link data with advanced collision avoidance systems, the new generation targeting pods (target designator) of Thales and its new features such as an increased ability to identify and overview of collateral damage.