The French navy next month expects to inaugurate its second operational unit, 11F, to be collocated with 12F at Landisvisiau near Brest.
The move comes as the inventory of single-seat Dassault Aviation Rafale Ms is starting to grow.
Meanwhile, combat operations continue to drive new efforts for the French military when it comes to Rafale. Soon to be launched is an upgrade of the Thales Damocles laser targeting pod to augment the infrared channel with a TV channel. The latter should improve the ability to target in urban environments – both will be downlinked to ground controllers using the Rover system. Deliberations in France also continue over the introduction of a low collateral damage weapon.
Although French fighters have been dropping concrete bombs (using a Paveway III guidance kit) in Libya, military officials want a more effective system. One topic of discussion is the purchase of Dual-Mode Brimstones from MBDA, although program officials note a final decision has not been taken. The Rafale would likely feature a basic integration of the weapon to speed fielding.
The Rafale, in the intervening period, has been heavily using the AASM (show here:)