March 04, 2008 05:30 ET

DASSAULT AVIATION : Rafale International, composed by Dassault Aviation, Thales and Snecma, moves a step forward in Greece by reinforcing its presence in Athens

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES--(Marketwire - March 4, 2008) - Rafale International, composed by Dassault Aviation, Thales and Snecma, moves a step forward in Greece by reinforcing its presence in Athens.

Today, March 4 2008, Mr. Eric Trappier Rafale International Managing Director has inaugurated the Rafale International office, located 80-88 Syngrou Avenue, 117 41 Athens in presence of H. E. Mr Christophe Farnaud, Ambassador of France in Greece, during a ceremony held at the French Embassy.

Rafale International three partners have been supplying aircraft to Greece since 1974, with the purchase of 40 Mirage F1 at first, followed by the signature in 1985 of the TALOS contract for the acquisition of 40 Mirage 2000.

Last November, the successful delivery of the fifteen new Mirage 2000-5 aircraft to the Hellenic Air Force was celebrated at the Tanagra Air Force Base by the Greek and French Ministers of Defense, Mr. Evanghelos Meimarakis and Mr. Hervé Morin.

The purpose of Rafale International in Athens is to promote the Rafale Omnirole Fighter as the natural continuity of the French supply source to answer the needs of Hellenic Air Force and to enhance the long standing cooperation the three partners already have with Greek industry.

Taking advantage of their experience with the Mirage 2000-5 programme, Rafale International offers to major Hellenic defence companies as Hellenic Aerospace Industry and others, as well as to small and medium enterprises, an ambitious industrial package based on high value technology exchanges and equal partnership for development and co-production of one of the most modern fighter in the world, thus, leading to the creation of a substantial number of jobs.

Designed to replace 7 types of aircraft of the French Armed Forces, extremely powerful, highly agile and very discrete, the Rafale Omnirole Fighter flies the entire spectrum of modern Air Power missions from air-combat to anti-ship missions through air superiority, close air support, battlefield air interdiction, deterrence and reconnaissance.

Fitted with an awesome weapon load which can be used simultaneously for air-combats and ground attacks during the same mission, integrating the largest and most modern sensors with the brand new technology of the multisensor data fusion, the Rafale Omnirole Fighter has a unique combined situational awareness and omnirole combat capability.

Its exceptional long range capabilities, thanks to its large fuel capacity and its stand-off missiles performances allow the Rafale Omnirole Fighter to attack deep inside enemy territory and to guarantee air sovereignty to protect the country

Delivered to the French Air Force in 2006, "Combat Proven" in Afghanistan where it has been successfully deployed in March 2007 and engaged since February 2008, it demonstrates its outstanding capabilities in a real war environment.

The Rafale Omnirole Fighter is now fully mature to meet Hellenic Air Force requirements and to continue to support Greek defence and security for the next decades.

Rafale International is a Joint-venture (G.I.E Groupement d'Intérêt Economique) set up by Dassault Aviation, Snecma and Thales to promote the Rafale Omnirole Fighter to international customers.

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