I would like to make a few small calculations in order to size a maintenance team in relation to the number of Rafale pilots.

Let's take the French case where the pilots fly 180 hours a year, and where there are 1.4 pilots per Rafale, which means 250 hours of flight per year.

Normally we find that it takes 8 hours of maintenance per flight hour.

In one year there are about 1600 hours of work in France, so the maintenance of a Rafale will require 250 hours * 8 = 2000 hours of work or 1.25 maintainers.

In the documentation produced for the Finnish call for tenders, it is said that the Rafale can fly 1000 hours per year, in which case it will require 4 times more maintenance, i.e. 5 maintainers per Rafale. For the pilots, the constraint is to distribute the flying hours so that they are all well trained. If we want to maintain this objective, we must also multiply their number by 4, i.e. have 5.6 pilots per plane. If this objective is temporarily abandoned, we will be able to be satisfied with 3 pilots.

In the same Finnish document it is said that the Rafale can withstand a one-month surge during which it would have 350 hours.

It would therefore require 2800 hours of maintenance but in a month there are 160 hours of work, which gives a team of 18 maintainers.

In addition, in a month there are 720 hours, 350 of which are used to fly, so the 2800 hours of work must be spread over the remaining 370, so at least 8 people must work permanently on the Rafale when it is not flying, so this will only be possible if we have 3 teams of 8 maintainers who work in turn day and night on the Rafale when it is not flying.

5 pilots would probably be enough, but we may want to put more for training reasons.