The Rafale has now become the main Armee de I'Air fighter aircraft proven in combat during operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, the Central African Republic and Iraq.
Rafales cruise at high altitude over the typical bush landscape of the Central African Republic.
This M88 turbofan has been removed for routine maintenance. The Rafale’s ease of maintenance is a major advantage for operations from austere bases in Africa.
This Rafale is inspected at N’Djamena after a long mission over the Sahara desert.
The GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb is the weapon of choice in Africa. However, when the weather deteriorates, Rafales are armed with the Hammer/AASM, which can be launched through cloud thanks to GPS guidance.
Rafales in Africa are routinely fitted with the Damocles targeting pod used for laser illumination and ISR missions.
A Rafale taxies out from a shelter at Niamey after a two-ship formation diverted there for operational reasons.
Rafale pilots in the Armee de l'Air spend a lot of time abroad. As a result, they have amassed a large amount of operational experience.
A Rafale two-ship taxies out from Niamey on their way back to N’Djamena. The first aircraft is in a bombing configuration while the second is configured for reconnaissance.