France Rafale 126 LGAD Andravida 19Apr21 Jurgen van Toor file info 640French Air Force Tranche 5 Rafale fighter aircraft

On 12 January 2024, the French Ministry of Defence (MoD) officially announced that late December 2023, the Direction générale de l'armement (DGA, Defence Procurement Agency) awarded Dassault Aviation an order for 42 Rafale single seat F4 standard fighter aircraft for the Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace (AAE, French Air and Space Force).

This order, known as Tranche 5, will total the number of French Rafales to 234. Earlier orders are divided as: 13 Rafales in 1993 (Tranche 1); 48 in 1999 (Tranche 2); 59 in 2004 (Tranche 3); 60 in 2009 (Tranche 4); and 42 in 2023 (Tranche 5). In 2021, a special order was placed for 12 Rafales to replace the 12 aircraft transferred to Greece.

The first Tranche 5 aircraft will be delivered in 2027. The Rafale is a success in the export market, with seven customer countries to date. The order book, plus the new “tranche 5” contract, secure production activity for the next ten years.

Total export orders currently stand at 261 Rafales (new aircraft): 55x Egypt, 36x Qatar, 36x India, 12x Greece, 80x United Arab Emirates and 42x Indonesia (including 18 for 2024). In addition to the new built aircraft, Greece and Croatia have each acquired 12 former French Air Force Rafales.

Credit photo: Jurgen van Toor (Scramble Archive)

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