A cutting edge mission system

The RAFALE is fitted with the most technologically advanced sensors:

  • an active electronically scanned array radar (AESA),
  • an electronic warfare integrated self-protection system (SPECTRA),
  • a front sector optronic system (FSO),
  • and a data link (Link 16 or national data link).

By way of an optimized data fusion, they provide the pilot with a full and accurate tactical situation awareness.

What makes the essential difference is the RAFALE’s “multi-sensor data fusion” process running on data provided by all the sensors of the Aircraft.

In essence, the “multi-sensor data fusion” concept implemented into the RAFALE allows the pilot to act as a true “tactical decision maker”, rather than being only a sensor operator.

The core of these enhanced capabilities of the RAFALE lies in a new “Modular Data Processing Unit” (MDPU) incorporating “commercial off the shelf” (COTS) elements. It is composed of up to 19 flight “line-replaceable units” (LRUs), with 18 of them individually providing 50 times the processing power of a typical mission computer employed in previous generation fighters.

The MDPU is the cornerstone of the upgradeability of the RAFALE. It allows a seamless integration of new weapons and new capabilities to maintain the warfighting relevance of the RAFALE over the years as tactical requirements evolve, and as the computer industry keeps rolling out new generations of processors and softwares.

The “multi-sensor data fusion” provides a link between the battlespace surrounding the Aircraft and the pilot’s brain with its unique ability to grasp the outcome of tactical situations and make sensible decisions.

It hinges on the computing power of the MDPU to process data from the RBE2-AESA radar, the “Front Sector Optronic” (FSO) system, the SPECTRA EW system, the IFF, the MICA infrared seekers, and the data link.

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