The French government has authorized the launch of the next production standard of the Dassault Rafale fighter jet this week.
Authorized on March 20 during the meeting of the Ministerial Investment Committee, new F4 standard will be commissioned by 2025, but certain functionalities will be available as early as 2023, French Ministry of Defence announced Thursday.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said: "The launch of the F4 standard is essential to provide our forces, by 2025, with an aircraft with increased performance, responding to the increasingly demanding realities of our foreign commitments. Its development will closely involve the forces, the Directorate General of Armaments and our defense industries."
The new aircraft developments will include improvements to network working methods, sensor developments and their integration. The F4 standard will also take into account the expected evolutions of missiles, of the power plant and the integration of new capabilities, the statement said.
“I am delighted by the Minister for Defense’s decision. The F4 standard will incorporate operational experience feedback and enable continuous improvement of the RAFALE to be maintained. It will reinforce the national skills and technological capabilities essential for preparing the development of the next generation of combat aircraft”, Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation stated in a company press release.