In Europe, the Rafale is engaged in two international competitions, both aimed at replacing the F / A-18C / D Hornets. After Switzerland, which evaluated the Rafale last summer on the base of Payerne, it was therefore the turn of Finland to invite Dassault to present its Rafale on the base of Tampere-Pirkkala as part of the HX competition. This evaluation follows that of the Eurofighter Typhoon and precedes that of the Saab Gripen E, which begins tomorrow. Subsequently, the Finnish Air Force received the F-35 from Lockheed Martin and, subsequently, the F / A-18E / F Super Hornet from Boeing.
It was therefore on January 20 that two Rafales arrived in Finland, and their return to France is expected today. They are two two-seater, the Rafale B n ° 354 of the Air Force and the Rafale B n ° 301 used by the DGA and Dassault Aviation for the development of the latest standards of the aircraft. They are therefore, a priori, the same devices as those which had been deployed in Switzerland. Both are F3R standard, now operational in the French forces, but No. 301 seems to incorporate elements specific to a test aircraft and representative of certain functionalities under development for the F4 standard or for certain foreign customers. .
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