Warplanes: March 27, 2001


Dassault Aviation (along with engine manufacturer SNECMA and electronics company Thales) has agreed to develop an improved Rafale Mark-2 for the export market. This will be an improvement over the Rafale-F1, Rafale-F2, and Rafale-F3s due to enter service with the French Air Force and Navy. The Rafale-Mk2 will have an improved engine with nine tons of thrust, compared to the 7.5 tons of thrust in the domestic version. This will allow Rafale-Mk2 to carry another 2,550 liters (675 gallons) of fuel, extending the range. Rafale-Mk2 will be available in 2005, and is being entered in the South Korean competition for 60 new fighters.--Stephen V Cole


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