The French Air Force evaluated a new version of the Dassault Rafale fighter designated as the F3.4 plus with improved software and safety features.
The evaluation was performed earlier this month by the French air force (FAF) integrated flight test team (EIEV) and the Rafale program office at the air force operational trials unit (CEAM), French media reported quoting an FAF release.
The F3.4 plus standard includes many software improvements such as improved capture and conversion of NATO standard geographical coordinates which save time and reduce crew workload.
A new instrument has been installed which allows pilots to better evaluate the aircraft’s attitude. It will sound an alarm when it detects an unusual position. During the take-off phase, another alarm will ensure the aircraft does not exceed the maximum load that can be handled by its landing gear brakes.
In addition, the F3.4 plus standard introduces a new control to shift in real time from radar mode to digital mapping, while in terrain following mode.
During the evaluation phase, which comprised 20 flight hours, pilots from CEAM and EIEV defined the boundaries of the expanded flight envelope before revising the operational flight manual.
The new F3.4 plus standard of Rafale should enter operational service in early 2015, the release said.