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Rafale F4: ongoing evolution
Rafale F4: ongoing evolution
© A. Pecchi - Dassault Aviation

| Emmanuel Huberdeau

Rafale F4: ongoing evolution

While the Rafale F3-R undergoes qualification, the French defence procurement agency (DGA), the armed forces and industry are already looking ahead to the F4 standard, expected to enter service around 2025. The goal is to adapt the aircraft — the cor

The Rafale has been constantly upgraded since it entered service in 2001. Standards F1 to F3 saw the aircraft become increasingly multi-role. The F3-R standard will bring the first major capability enhancements, as discussed below. Together, these upgrades have kept the Dassault Aviation fighter at the cutting edge, cementing its reputation as one the world’s premier combat aircraft.

However, the constantly evolving threat environment and the shifting geopolitical landscape mean that the Rafale must continue to evolve if it is to remain relevant beyond 2025. Hence the F4 standard, for which initial development work was launched by the ministry of defence in March 2017.

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