“From the Ouragan to the Rafale” Exhibition Kicks Off in Paris

10.07.2022 Europe
“From the Ouragan to the Rafale” Exhibition Kicks Off in Paris

“From the Ouragan to the Rafale” Exhibition Kicks Off in Paris

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General Stéphane Mille, Chief of France’s Air and Space Force Staff, and Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, inaugurated Friday the exhibition “From the Ouragan to the Rafale: 70 years of industrial and operational excellence”.

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the entry into service of the MD-450 Ouragan, the first mass-produced French-designed jet aircraft, the Air and Space Force Staff and Dassault Aviation are displaying an example of this aircraft alongside a two-seat Rafale, in the northern gardens of the Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris until September 18.

The Ouragan and Rafale were designed and produced by Dassault Aviation and a chain of partners and subcontractors. These two aircraft symbolize the remarkable reconstruction and development effort made by the Air and Space Force Staff and the French aeronautics industry from the 1950s to the present day.

The MD-450 Ouragan was the first French jet fighter to be used by the French Air Force after World War II. It entered service 70 years ago, in November 1952.

Thanks to this aircraft, Dassault Aviation was able to test, analyze and solve the aerodynamic and flight quality problems posed by the compressibility of air, thus paving the way for subsequent models to break the sound barrier.

The Ouragan prototype made its first flight on February 28, 1949, at Melun-Villaroche, piloted by Constantin Rozanoff. 213 aircraft were delivered to the French Air Force between 1952 and 1954.

The Ouragan was first deployed with the 12th Wing, with the EC 1/12 Cambrésis and 2/12 Picardie squadrons; followed by the 2nd Wing at Dijon (EC 1/2 Cigognes, 2/2 Côte d’Or and 3/2 Alsace squadrons) and the 4th Wing at Bremgarten (EC 1/4 Dauphiné, 2/4 La Fayette and 3/4 Flandres squadrons). The Ouragan was also used at the École d’Aviation de Chasse, initially at Meknes (Morocco) and then at Tours (France), allowing student pilots to train on jet aircraft. Finally, the Patrouille de France flew this aircraft for three years, from 1954 to 1956.

The Ouragan was the first French military aircraft to be exported after the war.

As technology evolved, the Ouragan-Mystère, Mirage and Jaguar family of fighters produced by Dassault Aviation were used by the French Air & Space Force, before the Rafale replaced them in the early 21st century.

Declared operationally ready in 2006 by the 1/7 Provence fighter squadron, the Rafale is currently in use by seven Air Force squadrons. It has proven its effectiveness in combat in Afghanistan as well as on a number of other missions (Harmattan, Serval, Barkhane, Sangaris, Hamilton, etc.). In addition to the role it plays in air policing, air defense and flight assistance in French airspace, the Rafale is also the mainstay of the French Strategic Air Forces’ permanent nuclear deterrent strategy. Since February 2022, the Rafale has been participating in airborne reassurance missions on NATO’s eastern flank.

Produced by Dassault Aviation and 400 French partner companies, the Rafale is an ultra-versatile (“omnirole”) fighter, designed to replace the seven different types of previous-generation aircraft once used by the French Air & Space Force and the French Navy.

The Rafale is the only aircraft in the world capable of carrying up to 1.5 times its own weight in fuel and weaponry. Designed from the outset to have its operational capabilities continuously improved, it regularly incorporates the latest technological developments, based on user feedback. The Rafale will be the fighter jet used by the French armed forces until at least the middle of the 21st century.

Nearly 60% of Rafales ordered to date have been sold for export.

With over 10,000 military and civil aircraft (including 2,500 Falcons) delivered in more than 90 countries over the last century, Dassault Aviation has built up expertise recognized worldwide in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, ranging from the Rafale fighter, to the high-end Falcon family of business jets, military drones and space systems. In 2021, Dassault Aviation reported revenues of €7.2 billion. The company has 12,400 employees.


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