22 JULY, 2016 BY: CRAIG HOYLE LONDON
Dassault delivered seven Rafale fighters during the first half of 2016, with its production backlog for the type now standing at 76 aircraft.
Detailing its business performance in a first-half results statement on 21 July, the French manufacturer says it secured new defence orders worth €600 million ($662 million). Of this, €454 million came from the French military, “primarily due to the contract for the Mirage 2000D upgrade”. The company is to modernise 55 of the French air force’s strike aircraft, in a deal which will extend the ground-attack type’s service life beyond 2030. International business accounted for the remaining €146 million.
Deliveries made during the first two quarters included six Rafales for the French military, and a trio of two-seat trainers for the Egyptian air force, which has now received six aircraft from a 24-unit deal signed last year. The company also provided “assistance for the client [Egypt], with support for its aircraft and the delivery of support and training tools”.
A sixth Rafale M to have been upgraded from an initial F1 standard with the latest F3 operating software was also handed over to the French navy, Dassault says.
France has now received 146 of its 180 contracted Rafales, leaving a backlog of 34 aircraft, while export orders for Egypt and Qatar cover a further 42 units. Dassault says negotiations are continuing with the Indian authorities linked to a proposed 36-aircraft order for the nation’s air force, and the manufacturer says it is also continuing “promotional and prospecting activities in other countries”.
The company delivered eight Rafales in 2015 – fewer than its usual 11 – with the completion of several aircraft diverted from its French customer to meet the urgent requirements of Egypt, which received an initial three of the type last year and a second batch early this year.
Development of the Rafale is also continuing, with a third guided firing of an MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile taking place during the first half of this year. The weapon is being added as part of an F3R software update for the multirole fighter.
Original post @flightglobal.com
Main image @Reuters