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PARIS: Hammer time for Egyptian Rafales

Egypt’s recent order for 24 Dassault Rafales has hit the spot for Sagem, with the French armaments specialist to arm the fleet with AASM “Hammer” air-to-surface weapons.

Announced at the show, the order covers all three versions of the combat-proven weapon, which respectively combine INS/GPS, infrared and laser guidance modes. Deliveries will commence towards the end of 2016, says Sagem, which also will supply support services under the deal.

Sagem says the Hammer’s stand-off range – which exceeds 32nm (60km) – will give the Egyptian air force “a significant operational advantage”, as its Rafales will gain the ability “to conduct all-weather, day/night precision ground strikes against fixed and moving targets”.

Operational with the French air force and navy, the AASM – which adds precision guidance and propulsion kits to standard bombs – entered operational use in 2008.

Also at the show, Sagem and its partner Rafaut are proposing a Hammer integration for the Lockheed Martin C-130 tactical transport.