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France receives first of tranche 4 Rafale fighters

Sept. 20, 2013 at 1:29 PM

PARIS, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The first of 60 Rafale jet fighters fitted with next-generation RBE2 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar has been delivered to the French military.

The Dassault Aviation aircraft, part of the 60-plane fourth production tranche, was given to France's Directorate General of Armaments (DGA).

The plane will soon be deployed to an air base for flight trials.

"The Rafale is the first omni-role fighter aircraft; that is to say it can, during the same sortie, carry out different types of missions, such as ground attack and air defense," DGA said. "Totally versatile, the Rafale can carry out the full range of missions that can be assigned to a fighter."

DGA has ordered 180 of the fighters for the French Navy and Air Force. The first aircraft of the fourth tranche was the 121st delivered overall. It is a two-seat variant for the Air Force.

In addition to Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, the aircraft features a new missile launch detector and front-sector optronics.

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