RAFALE omnipresent at Paris Air Show 2011

RAFALE Le Bourget Airshow
RAFALE Le Bourget 2009 – Xavier Cotton http://www.passionpourlaviation.fr

No other fighter aircraft will be as omnipresent at the Paris Air Show as the Rafale as it has been shorlisted for India’s MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) tender along with the Eurofighter. The IAF (Indian Air Force) is to order 126 multirole fighter aircraft for a deal of up to $10 billion. The French Dassault Rafale is still in competition with the Swedish SAAB JAS 39 Gripen, and the American F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in Brazil.

The Rafale also remains with the Gripen, and the Eurofighter in the Swiss NAC competition in order to replace the Swiss Air Force F-5s. The French Air Force has already demonstrated through the Rafale its combat readiness in Afghanistan, and over Libya. Its brand new reconnaissance pod Reco NG is now flying, and it managed to strike moving targets with its laser-guided AASM – Air-to-Ground Modular Weapon – beyond all expectations.

Its new Thales RBE2-AA AESA radar is still being developed. It has already been tested, and should be fully operational next year.

ToT (Transfer of Technology) has been pledged for the Rafale if the Indian government were to make its procurement decision.

Special thanks to Xavier Cotton, an aviation geek who provided the top left picture. Please visit his website http://passiondesavions.blogspot.fr/ full of fantastic posts about aircraft of all time as well as from everywhere.

 

Flocks of drones to fly and surveil over US borders

US Boeing UAV helicopter tested in Belize

The A160 « Hummingbird » or YMQ-18 – its military designation – is an American unmanned helicopter that is being tested in Central America, in Belize. This VTOL – Vertical Takeoff and Landing – prototype has been developed by the U.S. DARPA & the Boeing’s R&D division, the Phantom Works. The DARPA calls this drone FORESTER – FOPEN (FOliage PENetration) Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Tracking and Engagement Radar. You can watch the video hereafter:

News – Iranian bomber drone KARRAR unveiled

Iran has unveiled its home-made drone, the Karrar which is capable of carrying a military payload of rockets to carry out air-to-ground strikes. It reportedly is a fast long-range UAV.

Iran has also inaugurated two domestically-built drones: The Ra’d (Thunder) and the Nazir (Harbinger) which will carry out long-range surveillance, and assault, and bombing missions (as far as the Ra’d is concerned).