On December 29, 2022, Dassault Aviation delivered a Rafale fighter to France’s defense procurement agency. The information, however, was disclosed by the manufacturer only on Tuesday. The event marked the resumption of fighter deliveries to the French government after a four-year interruption.
The newly delivered Rafale is destined for the French Air and Space Force. The aircraft is part of the “tranche 4” order for 60 jets awarded to Dassault in 2009. This order includes another 27 fighters of the type that have yet to be delivered.
France has also ordered the purchase of another 12 fighter jets in 2021 to offset the same number of aircraft sold to Greece, which has acquired a batch of used planes.
In a statement, Dassault clarifies that deliveries of the Rafale to France have been interrupted “for budgetary reasons”. As a result, the assembly line has spent the last four years dedicated to export orders.
During this period, the Rafale was exported to India, Qatar and Egypt, in addition to Greece. Dassault has also received orders from Croatia, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates. Recently, the French fighter was pre-selected by the Colombian air force, but the agreement did not go through.
France’s armed forces currently have around 150 Rafale fighters in service, with around 100 aircraft with the air force and the navy has another 50 Rafale N, a naval version on an aircraft carrier.