Dassault Rafale M Aircraft Data
Photo ID 206441 by Thomas Ziegler - Aviation-Media. France Navy Dassault Rafale M, 36
Single-seat, multi-role, carrier-based fighter.

The Dassault Rafale is the most protracted development project in French aviation history. Starting in the late 1980's, the Rafale was developed to replace the existing fleet of aircraft used in the Armee del Aire and Aeronavale. The Naval variant, Rafale M, had the priority of development, since it was set to replace the Vought F-8E Crusader.

The Rafale is a twin-engined design, unlike the Crusader or Super Etendard. A massive and reinforced undercarriage permit the Rafale to handle the stress of carrier operations. The Rafale has seen action of Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom. Testing and training has seen the Rafale operate from U.S. Carriers alongside their Navy and Marine Corps counterparts.

The specific nature and cost of the Rafale has kept it out of the export market, despite being a very potent design. Brazil has come the closest to acquiring the Rafale for their FX2 fighter competition. Libya, Morocco, and India have shown strong interest in acquisition, but have yet to submit any orders.
  • Country of Origin: France
  • First Flight: 7/4/86
  • Initial Service Date: 2002
  • No. Built: 68
  • No. In Service: 64 (approx.)
  • No. of Hardpoints: 13
  • Crew: 1


2 x SNECMA M 88-2 after-burning turbofans at 75.62 kN


1 × 30 mm GIAT 30/719B cannon w/125 rds
Magic II AAM
MBDA Apache or SCALP EG stand-off missile
GBU-12 Paveway II LGB
AM 39 Exocet anti-ship missile
ASMP-A nuclear missile


Length: 15.27 m.
Wing Span: 10.90 m.
Wing Area: 46 m²
Height: 5.34 m.
Empty Weight: 10,196 kg.
Max. Weight: 24,000 kg.
Max. Ordnance Load: 9,525 kg.
Max. Payload: 13,607 kg.


Max. Speed: 2,370 kph
Service Ceiling: 15,240 m.
Normal Range: 1,852 km


France (Armee del Aire B/C, Aeronavale M)

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