On September 23rd, 2016, French Minister for Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar signed the contract for the acquisition of 36 Rafale by India in New Delhi. This is the third export contract for the Rafale fighter, providing a timely opportunity to review Safran’s contributions to the aircraft.
Safran's companies supply a number of key systems and equipment for the Rafale, the "omnirole" fighter designed and built by Dassault Aviation.
- Safran Aircraft Engines designed, developed and produces the M88 engines that power this twin-engine fighter, available in both air force and naval versions. The M88 features state-of-the-art technologies, including compressor "blisks" (integrally-bladed disks), single-crystal high-pressure turbine blades, powder metallurgy disks, ceramic coatings, composite parts from Safran Nacelles and nozzles made using thermostructural composites from Safran Ceramics.
- Safran Transmission Systems: this company designed, developed and produces the engine's power transmission, including the engine-mounted accessory drive and the aircraft-mounted accessory drive, as well as the flexible driveshaft.
- Safran Landing Systems: Rafale's landing gear (main and nose), wheels and carbon brakes, braking and steering systems, landing gear extension and retraction system, and hydraulic generation system.
- Safran Electronics & Defense: gyrolaser inertial navigation system, engine control unit, actuators and several optronic components and assemblies. Safran Electronics & Defense is also the prime contractor for the AASM Hammer weapon system.
- Safran Electrical & Power: all Rafale wiring.
Safran companies supply other equipment on the Rafale, including the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), dubbed "Rubis", and two pneumatic starters (Safran Power Units), carbon prepregs for the wings (Structil, Safran Ceramics' subsidiary), hydraulic filters, avionics bay air filter and engine oil filter (Safran Filtration Systems), turbofans, hot bleed air valves, Giffard valve, By Pass valve and water separator (Technofan), and the ejection seats (made by SEM MB, a 50/50 joint company of Safran and Martin-Baker Aircraft).