French Air Force Rafales and US F-35s perform joint flight


According to information published by the U.S. Department of Defense on May 18, 2021, a Dassault Rafale assigned to the 1/4 Gascogne Fighter Squadron, 113 Saint-Dizier-Robinson air base, France, and a U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron, have performed formation flight over France.

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French Air Force Rafales and U.S. F 35s perform joint flight Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs and two Dassault Rafales (Picture source: U.S. Department of Defense)


The flight was apart of the Atlantic Trident 21 exercise which is a joint, multinational exercise involving service members from the U.S., France and the U.K., and is aimed at enhancing fourth and fifth generation integration, combat readiness and fighting capabilities, through conducting complex air operations in a contested multinational joint force environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Cook)

The Rafale is a twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by the French company Dassault Aviation. It was primarily developed for the French Air Force and Navy. The first fighter aircraft entered is service with the French Navy in 2004 and the French Air Force in 2006.

As multirole fighter aircraft, the Rafale can be used as an attack or bomber. It can be armed with different types of weapons including Mica, Magic, Sidewinder, ASRAAM and AMRAAM air-to-air missiles as well as Apache, AS30L, ALARM, HARM, Maverick, and PGM100 air-to-ground missiles and Exocet / AM39, Penguin 3 and Harpoon anti-ship missiles. It is also armed with a twin-gun pod and a Nexter 30mm DEFA 791B cannon and laser designation pods for laser guidance of air-to-ground missiles.

The Rafale is powered by two Snecma M88-2 turbofans, 50.04 kN (11,250 lbf) thrust each dry, 75 kN (17,000 lbf) with afterburner. It has a gross weight of 15,000 kg and a maximum takeoff weight of 24,500 kg. It can fly at a maximum speed of 2,223 km/h with a maximum combat range of 1,850 km.


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