June 03, 2011 By VMSB DEFESA Global
A new variant of the Dassault Aviation Rafale F3 combat aircraft designed F3+ (also known as F3-04T) is being developed. This new upgrade version will include several enhancements including increased power with the addition of a new engine, the Thales RBE2 AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Radar), a new laser designation pod, MBDA DDM-NG (Détecteur Départ Missile de Nouvelle Génération) missile warning system, SATCOM integration (SATellite COMmunications), an improved FSO system (Front Sector Optronics), integration of MBDA AASM Laser (Armement Air Sol Modulaire) and GBU-24 Paveway laser guided munitions, the capability to interact with UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and to be linked to ROVER real time video exchange system (Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver) as well as improvement related to the Link 16 data-link system and MMI (Man-Machine Interface).
The aircraft is to be qualified in 2012. Several technologies including the cockpit, radar and FSO are being tested by the French Procurement Agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) onboard FALCON 20 and Mirage 2000 aircraft at its DGA EV (Direction Dénérale de l’Armement Essais en Vol) flight testing center located at Cazaux air force base Nº 120.
Rafale International consortium which comprises Dassault Aviation, SAFRAN (SNECMA and Sagem SA) and Thales has proposed the Rafale aircraft to the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira-FAB) with the full support of French authorities. The type has been shortlisted as well in India and the UAE (United Arab Emirates).