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Dassault Aviation Ramps Up Rafale Fighter Jet Production to Three Units Per Month

For this year alone, the French-based company Dassault Aviation has secured orders for 18 Rafale fighter jets, with 60 orders in 2023 and 92 orders in 2022.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — French aerospace company, Dassault Aviation, plans to increase the production of its Rafale fighter jets from two to three units per month this year due to a surge in demand from customers.

 According to reports by the French newspaper, Le Tribune, Dassault Aviation’s CEO Eric Trappier stated that the company has the capacity to produce up to four Rafale fighter jets monthly to meet the rising demand.

“We are moving from less than one unit in 2020, which was critical, to three units. Currently, we are at two units,” he said.

Dassault Aviation is preparing to ramp up Rafale production to three units per month.

 This year alone, the company has secured orders for 18 Rafale jets, with 60 orders in 2023 and 92 orders in 2022.

Rafale
“Rafale”

 

In addition to the increase in orders from foreign countries, Dassault Aviation is also experiencing a rise in orders from the French Air Force itself, which is purchasing more Rafale fighter jets.

In early January, France confirmed it would spend US$5.5 billion (RM24.75 billion) to acquire 42 Rafale jets.

The additional Rafale jets for the French Air Force come amid concerns expressed by French lawmakers regarding the progress of the “Future Combat Air System” (FCAS) program, a French-German consortium’s sixth-generation fighter jet development intended to eventually replace the Rafale.

The sixth-generation fighter, FCAS, is expected to make its maiden flight after 2045 or 2050, according to the French Senate’s defense committee.

Until the FCAS becomes operational, France will continue to rely on the Rafale fighters.

Due to concerns about the FCAS, the French defense procurement agency has informed Dassault Aviation and other component manufacturers, such as Safran, Thales, and MBDA, about the latest order for 42 Rafale jets.

Rafale
Qatar’s Air Force Rafale

 

All 42 newly ordered Rafale jets by the French Air Force will be of the F4 variant but are planned to be upgraded to the F5 or “Super Rafale” variant with some sixth-generation capabilities in the 2030s. The Rafale jets have been in service with the French Air and Naval Forces since 2004-2006 and have been deployed to Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq, and Syria.

The latest order from the French government for 42 Rafale jets brings the total number of orders from the French Air Force to 234 units.

This includes an order for 12 Rafales in 2021 to replace French Air Force jets transferred to Greece.

Apart from orders for the French Air Force, Dassault Aviation has also received orders for 261 Rafale jets from several countries, including Indonesia, India, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). — DSA

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