As the Aéronautique Navale marks the centenary of Flottille 11F, it is striding ahead with the latest standard of Dassault Rafale — the F3-R variant, which has now achieved initial operational capability, and is seen as a ‘game-changer’ for France’s carrier air power.

ONE OF THE Aéronautique Navale’s (French Naval Aviation’s) most famous squadrons, Flottille 11F, not only marked its centenary last year, but is also steaming ahead thanks to the commissioning of the Rafale F3-R, the latest variant of the naval Dassault fighter. Contrary to what the designation may suggest, this is far more than simply a software evolution — it’s a genuine step-change with new operational capabilities and a revised cockpit.

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