The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has announced the next upgrade to the Rafale fighter jet, called the F4.1 standard which represents a leap forward in the capabilities of the fighter aircraft, particularly in the realm of collaborative air combat.
The DGA recently received the Rafale C150 which was then transported to Mont-de Marsan air base 118 for the F4.1 upgrade.
The Rafale C150 represents the fifth aircraft in a batch of 40 planned for delivery by the end of 2025, with thirteen of them earmarked for the Air and Space Force in 2023.
Following the upgrade, the Rafale C150 will embark on an experimental campaign, heralding major developments in collaborative air combat.
Among the notable enhancements introduced by this upgrade are:
1. SCORPION Helmet Sight Integration: The F4.1 standard incorporates the integration of the SCORPION helmet sight, a technology that provides the pilot with essential information directly onto the eye protection visor integrated into their helmet. This feature allows for real-time monitoring of the aircraft's environment while simultaneously receiving mission-critical data from onboard instruments, facilitating precise targeting for weapons systems.
2. Improved Fire Control for Air-to-Air Meteor Missiles: The upgrade enhances fire control systems, optimizing the utilization of the Air-to-Air Meteor missile.
3. Evolution of Passive Threat Detection Algorithms: F4.1 introduces evolved passive threat detection algorithms, enhancing the aircraft's ability to identify and respond to threats.
4. Enhanced Data Exchange Capabilities: The F4.1 standard bolsters data exchange capabilities, ensuring seamless communication and coordination between Rafale aircraft and other elements of the military operation.
Additional features incorporated into the F4.1 standard include the integration of 1,000 kg AASM weaponry with GPS/laser guidance, heightened protection against cyber threats, and new functionalities for the Talios, OSF, and RBE2 sensors.
This upgrade also marks the first developments in the field of connectivity for the Rafale.
In line with the adoption of the F4.1 standard, all Rafale fighter jets within the Air and Space Force and the French Navy will undergo a gradual retrofit to align with the latest advancements in military aviation technology.