French DGA Receives Two Twin-Seater Rafale B Aircraft for Upgrade to F4.1 Standard

The Rafale B aircraft are among 40 aircraft, including 28 from tranche 4 and 12 ordered in 2021 to replace those transferred to Greece.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 07:40 AM, March 22, 2024
  • 967
French DGA Receives Two Twin-Seater Rafale B Aircraft for Upgrade to F4.1 Standard
Two-seat Rafale fighter @DGA

The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) took delivery of two twin-seater Rafale B aircraft, designated "B364" and "B363," at the Dassault Aviation site in Mérignac (Gironde), set to undergo upgrades to the F4.1 standard.

Initially received at the F3R standard, the Rafale B aircraft underwent software transformation and transition to the F4 standard at Mont-de-Marsan. The F4.1 standard, certified by the DGA in March 2023, introduces capability enhancements, including the integration of the Scorpion helmet viewfinder, improvements to fire control for utilizing the Meteor missile, and advancements in passive threat detection algorithms and data exchange capabilities among Rafale aircraft.

Moreover, the F4.1 standard enables the integration of 1,000 kg AASM weaponry with GPS/laser guidance, enhanced cyber threat protection, and upgrades to key sensors such as Talios, OSF, and RBE2. Additionally, it marks initial strides in enhancing connectivity capabilities, with all Rafale aircraft within the Air and Space Force slated for retrofitting to meet the F4 standard.

The two-seat Rafale B aircraft, "B364" and "B363," are part of a broader batch of 40 aircraft, comprising 28 Rafales from tranche 4 and 12 aircraft ordered in 2021 to replace those transferred to Greece. While most are allocated to the Air and Space Force, one aircraft will serve as a test bench for development trials.

French DGA Receives Two Twin-Seater Rafale B Aircraft for Upgrade to F4.1 Standard
Two-seat Rafale fighter @DGA

These 13th and 14th aircraft of the batch were delivered in 2024, with the entire batch expected to be delivered by the end of 2025. Additionally, plans are underway for the delivery of 13 more Rafale aircraft in 2024.

Dassault Aviation leads the industrial architecture of the Rafale program, with contributions from Snecma (Safran group) for engines, Thales for radar systems, and companies like Sagem (Safran group) and MBDA. An order for the 5th production tranche was placed at the end of 2023, with deliveries set to commence in 2027.

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