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Dassault delivers upgraded Rafale naval fighter jet to French DGA

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The new Rafale naval fighter. A Dassault Aviation photo

MERIGNAC, FRANCE (BNS): The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has taken delivery of the first refurbished Rafale F3 configuration naval fighter jet from Dassault Aviation last week.

The modernised combat jet, Rafale M10, is the first of a tranche of 10 (to be retrofitted) Rafale "Marine" aircraft.

The aircraft was handed over to the DGA at Dassault's Mérignac plant on October 3.

Dassault was awarded a contract in 2009 by the French Navy to retrofit and upgrade the 10 Rafale F1 configuration naval fighters into the F3 standard. Other partners in the retrofit programme included Thales, MBDA, Sagem and the French aerospace industrial department (SIAé).

The modernised jet now features a new modular electronic computer, new cockpit screen, upgraded electrical wiring, upgraded countermeasures system, changes in the RBE2 PESA radar and changes in the weapon store station.

The F3 standard provides the Navy and Air Force Rafale with complete versatility to carry out a wide range of missions, including interception and air-to-air mission, ground support mission, deep strike and maritime strike.

The delivery of the remaining retrofitted Rafale marine aircraft will be staggered over a period up to 2017, Dassault said.

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