ACCESS: Top Secret
- May 8, 2006
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AFAIK, for the moment, for France, there is no AESA radar to be bought for the 80 first Rafale upgraded or to be upgraded to the F3-R standard.AESA was already in the F3 standard. But, for money reasons, there are only 60 AESA which were sold with the last batch (the 4th, from September 2013) of 60 Rafale (50 for the AF and 10 for the Navy). But, yes, they are interchangeable with the PESA of batches 1, 2 and 3.
Let me see if I understand the situation then:
There are roughly 140 Rafales out there in the French Service.
Of those, 60 are F3 with AESA.
and 80 are F3 without AESA.
Now the entire fleet will be converting from F3 to F3R.
But will that mean that the 80 F3 without AESA will remain without it, even in F3R variant?
Or does the conversion automatically mean AESA array will be installed?
Or will the remaining 80 get the AESA eventually, but not necessarily soon; perhaps during a separate modernization effort to come in the coming years?
But, there may be further improvement of the PESA radar. And, as the radars are interchangeable, yes, other AESA radars may be purchased in the future for the 80 of the first batches, if there is money...