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Dassault boosts Rafale weapons capability

Jan. 24, 2014 at 2:11 PM

ST-CLOUD, France, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Dassault Aviation has increased the weapons carrying capability of its Rafale jet fighters, the company announced.

The company said a reconfiguration of the aircraft's hard points makes it the only fighter aircraft in the world capable of carrying 1.5 times its own weight.

In a recent flight tests conducted by Dassault, in collaboration with the French military's defense procurement agency DGA, a Rafale carried six air-to-ground precision AASM Hammer missiles, four medium- and long-range air-to-air missiles and two very long-range Meteor missiles.

It also carried three 528-gallon fuel tanks.

"By increasing the capabilities of its 14 hard points, including eight under the wings, the Rafale is the only fighter aircraft in the world capable of carrying 1.5 times its own weight," the company said. "Its 'omnirole' capability responds to the needs of countries requiring, at a controlled cost, an operational and versatile tool capable of fulfilling all missions more effectively, while mobilizing fewer resources.

"Two Rafale aircraft represent the same potential as six Mirage 2000 class aircraft."

Preliminary work on the changes was self-funded by the company.

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