Face grooves.. HaHa..You know what's funny? Ever since the Rafale was introduced and they scraped the Mirage 4000 proptptye which at the time I thought would be the next Mirage with 2 engines and a simpler form of the close-coupled canards and then I saw what I though was this atrocity (at the time, mind you), I was so bummed out! How could Dassault get red of this spectacular feat of engineering.....
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And replace it with this disaster!!!???
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The worst part for me aesthetically was the grove they made in the forward side fuesleage to allow airflow into the intakes. It lookes like an design and engineering mistake.
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Obviously i wasn't the only one since one production of this "then" ugly aircraft compared to the exquisite Mirage 4000 didn't attract any customers for what, close to 20 years of its existence? I figured that was the end of Dassault.
Then they went into high=tech mode to make the aircraft attractive from a military standpoint which was SPECTRA and EW with cockpit fusion and HMDS and decoys and many other things but the price was still too high.
Then is 2007, this pic came out as a rumor that France was pitching the Rafale to Egypt and all of a sudden, our eyes popped out.
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All of a sudden our interests had peaked. But then the Indian MRCA started and it was such a big deal which made it ebven more surprising that they chose the Rafale out of all the incredible aircraft competing including the latest F-16, F-18, Gripen (which we thought would be the winner) and the MiG-35. But then it was at least 8 years later and we come to find out that Egypt has been the first customer of the Rafale and of course when it shows up in Egyptian color, that changed everything! especially the introduction of BVR MICAS and the SCALP and the Metero was a huge part of the change of love affair.
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