French company Safran, which manufactures the M88 engine of the Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft plans to increase its thrust from 7.5 tone to nine tons.
La Tribune newspaper said yesterday quoting CEO of Safran, Philippe Petitcolin that, the engine upgrade in terms of thrust was necessary as the Rafale had grown heavier over the years due to addition of weapons and other systems.
He said that the original thrust of the Rafale engine was the same since the launch of the French fighter. The Rafale was designed over two decades ago.
However, the upgrade issue had not been discussed with Dassault Aviation, the Safran CEO added.
"It is time to ask the question whether it is appropriate to launch a study that would increase the engine thrust. Technically we can do. We are in discussion with the relevant authorities to see if possible. and if so, under what conditions and at what level of performance, it would be desirable to improve it, said Philippe Petitcolin (the quote has been translated from French).
He disclosed that the UAE which was considering to buy the fighter a few years ago had asked that the engine thrust be increased between eight to nine tons before abandoning the project.
The UAE and France have since renewed talks to buy the Rafale after its recent success in Egypt and Qatar and its selection by India.