Just eight months since the first six Rafale fighter jets orbited in their new “nest” painted in the colors of our Air Force, the results of the painstaking training of pilots and technicians of the 332 Fighter Squadron “Hawk” are already more than visible.
The first operational evaluation IOC (InitialOperational Capability), i.e. the first serious “crash test” for the “bursts” as revealed by Newpost has been completed. With the multi-member echelon of officers of the Tactical Air Headquarters passing through a “sieve” the first Rafale Squadron of our Air Force and grading it with excellent, rewarding the hard work of pilots and technicians.
To assess and rate the race that began immediately after the signing of the agreement to acquire 18 initially – in January 2021 – plus 6 subsequently French fighters and continues unabated. Starting from the Air Base at Mont De Marsan, France. And next station the 114th Fighter Wing in Tanagra and the 332nd Fighter Squadron which has been turned into a vast construction site. Since last January, when the first six Rafale “landed” on Greek soil, they have already exceeded 1000 take-offs for training flights. Which from familiarization at the Athens FIR quickly progressed to increasingly complex scenarios with the pilots training in all combat scenarios. By the summer of 2023, the last French pilots and technicians who helped the Staff of the 332 Fighter Squadron “Hawk” will have left Tanagra.
Both the Greek pilots of the Rafale and the technicians of the Squadron have already been “initiated” to a very large extent in the secrets of the French “bursts” to the extent that the French themselves do not hide their admiration. Air battles with the participation of more and more fighters as well as attack scenarios mainly on sea targets are now daily in the training program of the Squadron. At the heart of the training is the best possible use of the Rafale’s great capabilities with its powerful AESA radar and SPECTRA self-protection system. With the tip of the spear the armament of the fighter. The well-known from the Mirage and extremely reliable Mica and especially the great nightmare of the Turkish air force. The “gamechanger” classified Meteor missiles that don’t just change the rules of the “game” but impose, as the 332 pilots typically say, their own rules. They “lock” the Aegean and turn entire areas into “no access zones” for any intruder.
Together with the upgraded F-16 Vipers, the unknown for the TuAF Mirage2000-5 and the rest of the HAF fighter fleet form an impenetrable “shield” over the Aegean. And even further since, as the Rafale pilots typically say, the Aegean is now too small for the French “bursts” with a range of 3700km and unlimited possibilities in every battle scenario.