Addressing the growing domestic and international demand for the French fighter aircraft, Dassault and the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) will soon begin a six-year development phase of the next-generation Rafale F4. The French Minister of Defense, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, authorized the start of development of the next generation variant of the Rafale. The aircraft will introduce new capacities empowered by the modern missile and engine technologies.
The new variant will follow the Rafale F3-R currently in development and scheduled to complete the qualification testing next year. Dassault now produces Rafales to fulfill French orders for 180 aircraft, along with sales of 78 more aircraft for Egypt and India. The French Air Force could order additional 45 as it phases out older Mirage 2000 aircraft. The first fully equipped F4 aircraft are expected to enter service in 2025, though certain functions will be available in 2023. It will be part of the fifth production tranche (2019-2025), delivering on French and export orders.