Greece selects French-made Rafale as future fighter aircraft for Hellenic Air Force

According to a press release published by the French Ministry of Defense on September 12, 2020, the Greek Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced that Greece will acquire 18 French-made Rafale fighter aircraft.

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Greece selects French made Rafale as future fighter aircraft for Hellenic Air Force 925 001 French Air Force Rafale fighter aircraft (Picture source Air Recognition)

These announce is very important for the French Industry and it is the first European country that will be equipped with the French-made Rafale fighter aircraft.

This choice in favor of the French combat aircraft Rafale Dassault Aviation, which is one of the most modern fighter in the world, strengthens the link between the Greek and French armed forces, and will allow them to intensify their operational and strategic cooperation.

The Rafale is a twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by the French company Dassault Aviation. It was primarily developed for the French Air Force and Navy. The first fighter aircraft entered is service with the French Navy in 2004 and the French Air Force in 2006.

French company Dassault continues to modernize and upgrade the Rafale, and the F-3R variant is now in service with the French Air Force. On 31 October last, the F3-R standard of the Rafale was qualified by the French defense procurement agency (DGA). An order for 59 F3 aircraft, 47 for the air force and 12 for the navy, was placed in December 2004. The Rafale F3 was certified in July 2008. The first Rafale F3 was delivered to the French Air Force in 2008.

The Rafale continuous improvement approach is now looking to the F4 standard, development of which should begin soon, after completion of the ongoing feasibility studies. This future standard will notably improve the connectivity of the Rafale and its ability to operate as part of a network.

As multirole fighter aircraft, the Rafale can be used as an attack or bomber. It can be armed with different types of weapons including Mica, Magic, Sidewinder, ASRAAM and AMRAAM air-to-air missiles as well as Apache, AS30L, ALARM, HARM, Maverick, and PGM100 air-to-ground missiles and Exocet / AM39, Penguin 3 and Harpoon anti-ship missiles. It is also armed with a twin-gun pod and a Nexter 30mm DEFA 791B cannon and laser designation pods for laser guidance of air-to-ground missiles.

The Rafale is powered by two Snecma M88-2 turbofans, 50.04 kN (11,250 lbf) thrust each dry, 75 kN (17,000 lbf) with afterburner. It has a gross weight of 15,000 kg and a maximum takeoff weight of 24,500 kg. It can fly at a maximum speed of 2,223 km/h with a maximum combat range of 1,850 km.