The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft.
Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions.
The Rafale is referred to as an “Omnirole” aircraft by Dassault.
Technology demonstrator, first flew in 1986.
Dassault used this designation in the early 1990s to emphasize the new semi-stealthy design features.
Rafale B F3-R
Two-seater version for the French Air Force.
This can operate with the Talios targeting pod.
Rafale C F3-R
Same as Rafale B F3-R but single-seat version for the French Air Force.
Rafale M F3-R
Same as Rafale C F3-R but carrier-borne version for the French Naval Aviation, which entered service in 2001.
For carrier operations, the M model has a strengthened airframe, longer nose gear leg to provide a more nose-up attitude, larger tail hook between the engines, and a built-in boarding ladder.
Consequently, the Rafale M weighs about 500 kg (1,100 lb) more than the Rafale C.
It is the only non-US fighter type cleared to operate from the decks of US carriers, using catapults and their arresting gear, as demonstrated in 2008 when six Rafales from Flottille 12F integrated into the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Air Wing interoperability exercise.
Two-seater version for the Egyptian Air Force.
Single-seat version for the Egyptian Air Force.
Two-seater version for the Indian Air Force.
Single-seat version for the Indian Air Force.
Rafale B, C, M F4
This variant will have upgraded radar (F4.1), as well as improved capabilities in the Helmet-Mounted Display and AASM 1000 kg.
The OSF (long-range optoelectronics system) will add IRST (Infrared Search and Track) for detecting and identifying airborne stealth targets at long range (F4.1).
It will be more effective in network-centric warfare, with more data exchange and satellite communication capacity and will launch small (F4.2).
The variant was ordered in 2019.
1 or 2
15.27 m (50 ft 1 in)
10.90 m (35 ft 9 in)
5.34 m (17 ft 6 in)
45.7 m2 (492 sq ft)
10,300 kg (22,708 lb) (B)
9,850 kilograms (21,720 lb) (C)
10,600 kilograms (23,400 lb) (M)
15,000 kg (33,069 lb)
Max take-off weight
24,500 kg (54,013 lb)
4,700 kg (10,362 lb) internal for single-seater (C); 4,400 kg (9,700 lb) for two-seater (B)
(C): 16,550 l (4,370 US gal; 3,640 imp gal) (5,750 l (1,520 US gal; 1,260 imp gal) internal + 2,300 l (610 US gal; 510 imp gal) in 2x conformal tanks + 8,500 l (2,200 US gal; 1,900 imp gal) in 5 drop tanks.