GoPro video: aboard French Rafale dogfighting alongside RAF Typhoons and US F-22s during TrilatEx

Join a French Air Force Dassault Rafale during a Trilateral Exercise sortie.

Underway from Dec. 2 to 18, the inaugural Trilateral anti-access/area denial exercise sees U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons and French Air Force Dassault Rafale, teaming to improve the way allied air forces can fight in a highly-contested scenario made of layered long-range air defenses (like the super-Missile Engagement Zone established by the Russians in Syria…)

The TrilatEx also features some Red Air forces, i.e. “Bad Guys” in the form of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and the Langley-based T-38 Talons that always train against the Raptor stealth fighter).

Note: the Rafales operate without external fuel tanks, that would limit the maximum load factor to 5.5 g, moreover, during the engagements, one of the French “omnirole” planes can be seen releasing flares to deceive a (simulated) IR-guided air-to-air missile.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Is it wise to use F-15Es strikers as opposing force? They have no direct replacement yet and they should be one of the most required assets during overseas operations. I don’t find it wise piling up stressful AA dog-fighting hours on their wings. Isn’t it wiser to use F-15C/Ds and other less precious assets?

  2. Now this is a thing to see. Rafales+Typhoons+Raptors breaking down A2/AD. You would see this scenario over the plains of Ukraine or in the skies over Baltic states if Ivan ever became frisskie.

  3. French is rusty, believe the video title translates roughly to “Following the inflight G-warm up” Part of G-warm is systems check, to include chaff/flare bucket check. Don’t think video shows any actual intercepts/engagements.
    Also, I’m no Rafale expert, but I believe the 5.5g limit is related to A/G mode with heavy bomb stores & 2000 liter external tanks, not the smaller 1250 liter supersonic tanks. I’d be shocked if the smaller tanks were also limited to 5.5g in A/A mode.

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