Dassault Aviation has successfully flight tested RAFALE under a new heavily-armed configuration.
It comprises six AASM Hammer missiles, four medium and long range air-to-air missiles from the MICA family, two METEOR missiles, and three 2,000 liter fuel tanks.
This test is conducted in collaboration with the Direction Générale de l’Armement (the French Defense Procurement Agency) and will eventually lead to a complete clearance of the flight envelope.
By increasing the capabilities of its fourteen hard points, including eight under the wings, the RAFALE is claimed to be the only fighter aircraft in the world capable of carrying 1.5 times its own weight. Two RAFALE aircraft represent the same potential as six MIRAGE 2000 class aircraft, according to Dassault Aviation press statement.
This new configuration, unmatched in the versatility and firepower it represents, has been made possible thanks to the open architecture of the aircraft designed from the outset to perform all of the missions previously assigned to seven different types of aircraft in France. As a veritable “force booster”, the RAFALE is a tool for rationalizing armies.
This new development, which combines great autonomy with the versatility of the weapons system, demonstrates the power and operational superiority of the RAFALE, which already has a unique range of configurations, including the unique ability to strike deeply, with two Scalp cruise missiles and three 2,000 liter fuel tanks, as used by the French armed forces during Operation Harmattan in Libya in 2011.