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12:57 PM, January 14, 2019
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French Minister of Defense Florence Parly handing over F4 standard development contract to Dassault CEO Eric Trappier at Mérignac plant (Image: Dassault Aviation)

Dassault Aviation has received a contract for the development of standard F4 version of the Rafale aircraft for an approximate 2 billion euros ($2.3B) from the French Air Force.

"The F4 standard is based on 4 pillars: connectivity, engagement, detection and combating threats, availability,” Florence Parly, the Minister of Defense for France said during her visit to Dassault’s Mérignac plant Monday.

The F4 standard is part of RAFALE's continuous improvement approach, based on advances in technology and operational feedback. After the F1 standards (specific to the first Navy planes), F2 (air-to-ground and air-to-air capabilities), F3 and F3R (extended versatility), the F4 standard marks a new stage closer to fifth generation fighter aircraft, France is planning to develop with Germany.

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