The Rafale – which can be translated from the French as either "gust of wind" or "burst of fire" – is a twin-engine multirole fighter aircraft built by French manufacturer Dassault Aviation, and which made its maiden flight in 1986. Available as a land and carrier-based version, it is one of Europe's most modern fighters.
After France decided not to proceed with the Eurofighter project in 1985, it went ahead with its own development programme and the Rafale was developed and built almost entirely in France. The French armed forces were the first and are still by far the biggest operators of the aircraft, but in 2015 the Egyptian and Qatar Air Forces each took delivery of 24 units.
The Rafale Solo Display Team of the French Air Force (Armée de l’air) will be appearing at AIRPOWER16.
Facts & Figures
|Max. takeoff weight||24,500 kg|
|Empty weight||10,300 kg|
|Max. payload||15,000 kg|
|Service ceiling||16,763 m|
|Maximum speed||1,148 km/h / 620 KIAS|
|Powerplant||2 × SNECMA-M88-2 turbofans|
|Thrust||2 x 75 kN with afterburner|
|Crew||1 or 2|