In the past, no one wanted it. Now many countries are rushing to get it. The total number of orders has exceeded 100 Rafale fighters. They have proven their capabilities in many actual battles.
According to a report published on September 12 by Agence France-Presse titled “The Rafale Fighter That Couldn’t Be Sold Is Now Commercial Success”, Greece has just announced plans to purchase 6 more advanced Rafale fighters, with a total order of 24.
Earlier, Egypt announced that it would order another 30 Rafale, India ordered 36, and Qatar ordered 36. However, for this fighter that was put into service about 20 years ago, the success came too late. Egypt was the first country to purchase Rafale fighters.
The Rafale fighter is an Omnirole fighter developed by the French Dassault Aircraft Manufacturing Company. Although its first flight was in 1986, the first production model entered service in 2001. At the same time, in order to meet the needs of more users, the “Rafale” fighter has developed three technical standards, F1, F2, and F3, and has derived combat-type “Rafale-C”, two-seater “Rafale-B” and navy type “Rafale-M” three types, the latest model Rafale F4 has been called the 4.75 generation fighter.
In the beginning, the Rafale fighter is neither a stealth fighter nor a product of the United States and lacks combat experience. Therefore, it has a reputation as a “unsellable” fighter. Till 2015 no country show interest buy Rafale.
However, the French Air Force’s participation in actual combat operations finally brought a good reputation to the Rafale fighter. In the anti-terrorist war in Afghanistan, Libya’s attack on Gaddafi, airstrikes on Syria, and other actual combat operations, the French Air Force sent all “Rafale” fighters to participate. The aircraft not only showed good versatility but also didn’t lose any fighters in the war. It also had a wide range of mounted weapons, and it quickly became famous in news reports.
At the same time, every head of the French government has actively promoted the “Rafale” fighter jets to foreign countries. They also spared no effort to use diplomatic resources and financial support policies for this purpose. In addition, in recent years, the rising price of the US F-35 fighter jets has discouraged some countries. The warplane ushered in a golden moment.
The first country to grab Rafale was Egypt, a major player in the Middle East. The country purchased 24 Rafale fighters in 2015, which opened the door for this European fighter in the Middle East. Of course, it was also the first country in the world to purchase. Then came Qatar’s order of 36 aircraft, which made the country the largest user of Rafale fighters outside the French Air Force; followed by India, which rejected the aircraft offered by Russia and the United States and purchased 36 “Rafale” fighter aircraft in one go.
After that, there are 24 in Greece, 12 in Croatia, 30 in the second batch of Egypt, and 36 large orders from Indonesia that are in specific negotiations, as well as the purchase orders being issued by Finland and the UAE. This makes the Rafale fighter jets. The total number of export sales is expected to exceed 200.
From the unsuccessful in international export fighter aircraft market to popular goods, the “Rafale” fighter has experienced a dramatic journey from sadness to joy in the past 20 years. The performance of this 4.5-generation fighter is excellent with many advanced features and Meteor AAM, you can say that Rafale is the best 4.5th gen fighter aircraft.
However, the “Rafale” fighter jets only began to be exported 15 years after they came out, and now it has won nearly 200 orders in just 6 years, which is no small miracle in any case. Today, the “Rafale” fighter is developing F4 technical standards, and its performance will be greatly improved, so the future international market potential of the aircraft should have a lot of growth.