France orders 20 more Rafale fighters
2 January 2002
The French Ministry of Defence has ordered 20 more Rafale fighters from French aircraft manufacturer Dassault. The French Air Force will receive twelve and the French Navy eight.
This order supplements the contract placed in 1999 and brings to 61 the number of Rafale ordered by France (36 for the Air Force, 25 for the Navy). Of these 61 aircraft, 10 were delivered in 2001 and 13 more will be delivered in 2002.
The first naval squadron was formed in May last year and two Rafale are currently embarked on the Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier. The two-seater version, ordered at the end of 2001, will be delivered from 2008.
The first Air Force squadron will be formed in 2006.
In addition, the Ministry for Defense is developing the general-purpose standard F2 air-to-air and air-to-ground missile that will equip the Rafale and has begun the definition phase for the future F3 missile.
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