The Safran M88 engine that powers Dassault Aviation’s multirole fighter has clocked up more than one million operating hours. This major milestone is a testament to the operational excellence of the engine, which has been in service for more than two decades. More than 600 engines have been delivered since it was rolled out. The M88 entered service with the French armed forces in 2004 to power the Rafales used by the French Army and Navy.
Designed, developed and produced entirely by Safran Aircraft Engines, the M88 engine has delivered the highest standards of performance and reliability, especially within the scope of external operations conducted by the French Army. Its outstanding capabilities have contributed to the large number of orders for the Rafale, France’s military aircraft flagship and an emblem of our national sovereignty. To date, 284 aircraft have been sold to seven export customers: Egypt, Qatar, India, Greece, Croatia, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.
Safran Aircraft Engines CEO Jean-Paul Alary said, “Thanks to world-class performance, reliability and maintainability, the M88 is today Europe’s most successful fighter engine. However, our mission doesn’t stop here. We must continue to expand our production capacity to meet export demand, and at the same time work on upgrades to bring customers the benefits of the latest operational standards.”
To keep pace with orders, Safran Aircraft Engines will increase production rates three-fold in the next few years. This is an unprecedented industrial challenge, with more than 150 suppliers contributing to the military engine program, most of which are based in France. It will help safeguard thousands of jobs, as well as French expertise and technology.
“The M88 program is highly strategic in terms of maintaining skills not just for us but for the entire French aerospace industry,” added Jean-Paul Alary. “It’s partly thanks to our experience in military engines, for which we develop the hot section, among other things, that we’ve earned global recognition as a complete engine-maker.”
Safran Aircraft Engines is currently working on the F4 Standard of the M88, which will power the Rafale fleet deployed by France and the United Arab Emirates. This upgrade, slated to be rolled out in 2025, will provide even more onboard electronics for storing the growing volume of data required for integrated predictive maintenance.