France Advances Rafale’s Latest F3-R Standard

France’s newly-renamed Armed Forces Ministry and industry are completing the integration of the MBDA Meteor and Thales Talios targeting pod onto the Rafale, giving birth to the F-3R version which will enter service in 2018. (DGA photo)

According to the multiyear program of the Armed Forces Ministry, the F3-R standard of the Rafale will be qualified in 2018 by the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), and will enter operational service a few months later.

During the first half of 2017, teams from DGA, Dassault Aviation, MBDA, Thales and the air and naval air force experimentation centers continued scheduled work for the integration of the two major equipment additions of the F3-R: the METEOR missile and the TALIOS targeting pod.

The last live firing of the campaign to integrate the METEOR long-range air-to-air missile onto the Rafale was successfully carried out at the Biscarrosse site of DGA’s Missile Test Center. Fired against an aerial target located at long range, and immediately followed by a simulated MICA missile fired at another target, this final test-launch is representative of the new capabilities made possible by the association of the METEOR missile and the RBE2 long-range AESA radar of the Rafale.

With the METEOR missile and AESA active antenna radar, the Rafale will still be at the forefront of combat aviation for many years.

The 3rd and penultimate operational aptitude test of TALIOS, the new ground designation and targeting pod, was held at the DGA Test Center in Istres. A Rafale equipped with the TALIOS pod played out several operational scenarios to cover the broad spectrum of use of the sensor, including an exercise of supporting troops in contact with the enemy and pursuing moving targets. Long-range imagery performance was also assessed on prepared objectives and in different types of environment: urban, rural, maritime, mountain.

These tests allowed to appreciate the remarkable fidelity of the extraction of the target coordinates on the ground, and the high quality of the imagery produced, which goes well beyond existing nacelles in terms of resolution and image finesse.

The DGA exhibits the Rafale F3-R on the stand of the Armed Forces Ministry at the Paris Air Show.

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France Advances Rafale’s Latest F3-R Standard France Advances Rafale’s Latest F3-R Standard Reviewed by Defense Alert on 04:54:00 Rating: 5

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