The French Air and Space Force receives its first Rafale F4

Paris, March 7, 2023 – On Thursday March 2, 2023, the first Rafale modified to the F4 standard was delivered to the Air and Space Force within the Military Air Expertise Center (CEAM), on Air Base 118 at Mont-de-Marsan.

This aircaft is issued from the Rafale F3R sent to the General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) Flight Test Center in Istres for software upgrade and the transition to the F4 standard.

In 2019, the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly formalized the development of the Rafale F4 by qualifying the project as a real “technological, industrial and strategic leap”. This is reflected in particular by the integration of new capabilities such as the integration of a helmet sight, the TALIOS pod, and a new 1,000 kg armament. The air-to-air, air-to-ground firing control systems and the self-protection system are also optimized.

Several stages of experimentation await the aircraft in the coming months, based on the receipt of a second Rafale F4 within a few weeks. Initially, the “adoption” phase of the aircraft aims to allow the delivery of the Rafale F4 to the forces for training missions. The next phase will make it possible to achieve the aircraft initial operational capability (IOC) device before the final stage of full operational capability (FOC).

Unofficial translation by EDR On-Line

Photo courtesy French Ministry of the Armed Forces