French Fast Jets to Show Flair at Fairford
Published: 27 Apr 2017
The Royal International Air Tattoo 2017 will see two of Europe's most sought-after fast jet displays in Europe: the French Air Force's solo Dassault Rafale C multi-role fighter, and - for the first time - its brand new Couteau Delta team of two Dassault Mirage 2000D strike aircraft.
Couteau Delta has been formed prior to the 2017 display season, and puts on a loud and fast role demonstration of the delta-winged Mirage, consisting of various tactical manoeuvres along the lines of those used in combat. RIAT will be the team's first British display. The Mirage 2000D is the conventional strike variant of the 2000N nuclear attack platform, as displayed in previous years by the now disbanded Ramex Delta pair. One of the aircraft is expected to display in a special desert camouflage scheme. The Couteau Delta team is provided by crews drawn from Escadrons de Chasse 2/3 'Champagne' and 3/3 'Ardennes' at Nancy-Ochey.
After several previous award-winning visits to the Air Tattoo in years gone by, Dassault's latest-generation Rafale returns in 2017, again piloted by Capitaine 'Marty' Martinez from Escadron de Transformation Rafale 2/92 'Aquitaine' at Saint-Dizier. This swing-role combat jet has taken part in combat operations over Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Mali and Syria, and is also in service in carrier-borne form with the French Navy.
Completing the French Air Force contingent will be a pair of Alpha Jet E training aircraft on static display.