First Flight of Rafale F3-R

Issue: 1 / 2019

On December 10, 2018, the first Rafale aircraft upgraded to the French Air Force’s latest F3-R standard, made its first flight from Air Base 118. Implemented by the Air Force’s air trials expertise centre, the F3-R standard is the latest step in the Rafale’s evolution since its entry into service in 2004. Awarded in December 2013, the contract for this new standard will allow the Rafale to operate the long-range Meteor air-toair missile, the Talios target designation pod and the laser-guided version of the Modular Air-to-Ground Weapon (AASM), adapted to hit moving targets. F3-R also includes the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS) which forms a sort of protective bubble around the aircraft so as to avoid a collision with the ground when, for example, a pilot loses consciousness. This is the first time such a system has been fitted to a French military aircraft.