The Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) announced on March 13, 2023, the qualification of the F4.1 standard for the Rafale combat aircraft, which will enable it to enter the era of collaborative air combat.
The F4.1 standard represents the first step in the incremental development of the Rafale, and includes several significant capability developments in the field of air combat. These include the integration of the Scorpion helmet sight, improvements in fire control for the offboard use of the Meteor missile, evolution of passive threat detection algorithms, and increased data exchange capacities between Rafale.
In addition, the F4.1 standard brings several other improvements, such as the integration of the 1,000 kg AASM weapon with GPS/laser guidance, greater protection against cyber threats, and new functions for the Talios, OSF and RBE2 sensors. The qualification of this standard required the involvement of several DGA centers of expertise and tests, in collaboration with the French Navy, the Air and Space Force and Dassault Aviation.
Operational experimentation by the Air and Space Force and the French Navy began on March 3, 2023, and retrofitting of all Rafales to this new standard will be carried out gradually. The first boarding on board the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is planned in this context during the spring.