The French Rafale fighter plane has known, since its entry into service in 2002 in the French Navy, several successive standards, from the F1 specialized in Air-Air combat to the first Rafale M on board the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, at standard F3 and F3-OAT which will see the arrival of the AESA antenna of the RBE2 radar and give the aircraft its true status of omnirole plane, capable of simultaneously carrying out Air-Air, Air-Ground and intelligence missions without having to modify their equipment or configuration. The F3R standard, which arrived in 2018, further increases the performance of the aircraft, with the TALIOS designation nacelle, the modernization of the SPECTRA self-defense system, the extension of the life of the M88 engines, as well as the entry into service of the European METEOR long-range air-to-air missile. A new standard, the F4, will enter service from 2025, with the integration of numerous digital and communication technologies to the French hunter to bring it into the “5th generation”.
It was probably the implementation of the Meteor that convinced the Greek authorities to carry the set of the 18 aircraft ordered to the F3R standard, including the 12 second-hand aircraft which will be taken from the Air Force fleet, and which today are at the F3-OAT standard, the last standard before this one. Indeed, the Meteor missile coupled to the RBE2 radar, will allow the Greek air forces to pose a real threat to the Turkish air forces if necessary, and in particular to its fleet of refueling planes and aerial watch planes. Moreover, the Greek contract is "enriched" with an order of € 300 million of ammunition for the new aircraft from MBDA, which produces in particular the Air-Air Meteor and Mica missiles, the SCALP cruise missile as well as the AM39 Block II Exocet anti-ship missile.
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