Posted by John McHaleNEUILLY-SUR-SEINE, France, 12 Feb. 2011. Thales announced that the production model AESA RBE2 radar with active electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna has been validated on the Rafale omnirole combat aircraft. Following a program of flight tests conducted with the AESA RBE2 on the Rafale, Dassault Aviation confirmed that all aspects of the radar's performance comply with the technical specifications of the roadmap contract, awarded by the French defense procurement agency (DGA).The AESA RBE2 with active array will give the Rafale extended range for compatibility with the latest generation long range missiles and ability to detect low-signature targets; higher module reliability for reduced cost of ownership -- no maintenance required on the active array for 10 years; and extended waveform agility, making it possible to acquire submetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery while increasing the radar's resistance to jamming. Thales will begin series production of equipment for installation on the aircraft under Tranche 4 of the Rafale program. The Tranche 4 aircraft were ordered by the DGA in 2009 and will be delivered by Dassault Aviation to the French Air Force from 2013.