Rafale Fighter Production Soars Amid Surging Demand

Dassault Group of France ramps up Rafale fighter jet production in response to a substantial order.


Dassault Aviation targets increasing assembly output to 3 Rafale aircraft monthly by 2024, propelled by substantial export orders and contracts with the French Ministry of Defense. Mr. Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, highlighted the company’s progress: “We are now building 3 aircraft per month, compared to less than 1 in 2020 when production was stagnant.

Boosting production could potentially lead to an annual output of 33 Rafale fighters, a significant increase from the previous maximum of 24 aircraft per year. However, Dassault faces challenges with delays from subcontractors in producing equipment for the aircraft, with a lag time of approximately one year to align with current production schedules. As a result, the time required for Dassault to produce and deliver aircraft to customers stands at 36 months, impacting the French Air Force’s planned replacement of the Mirage 2000 with the Rafale within a 12-year timeframe. Despite these hurdles, Dassault aims to increase production to four aircraft per month, with plans to further escalate to a rate of 4 Rafales per month should new orders be received. From 2022 to the end of 2023, Dassault secured orders for 211 Rafale fighters, including 141 for export and 70 for the French Army.


In December 2023, the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) finalized a contract with Dassault Aviation for the purchase of 42 Rafale fighters to serve the needs of the French Air Force (AAE). This contract, along with ongoing orders and the anticipated new agreement from the Defense Acquisition Agency, is expected to sustain production for the next decade. While specific details regarding the agreement, implementation terms, and fighter costs were not disclosed, reports suggest that the Rafale’s value exceeds 100 million euros, making it pricier than the US-made F-35 Lightning II.

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