The Rafale seems to have more than convinced the authorities in Cairo and the Egyptian air forces. Indeed, barely had they signed a new order for 30 F3R standard aircraft , accompanied by 2 A330 MRTT tanker planes and a military satellite, that Egyptian negotiators announced their intention to grow the fleet of Rafale to 72 aircraft, or even 100 aircraft, by placing new orders in the years to come. Obviously, the capabilities of the future F4 standard of the French aircraft seem to meet the country's needs to strengthen its deterrence and deep strike capabilities, and thus allow it to strengthen its status as a regional power.
According to the American site breakingdefense.com citing Egyptian sources close to the matter, the Rafale F4 indeed constitutes a choice alternative for Cairo to the F35A which Washington refused to export to its Middle Eastern ally, particularly in the field of air defense. cooperative commitment. In addition, the Rafale F4 will have a range of modernized sensors, including a new version of the AESA RBE2 radar, as well as advanced weapons, such as glide bombs, the 1000 kg A2SM Hammer bomb and the new Air-Air missile. short and medium range MICA NG. Above all, the aircraft will have advanced capabilities for cooperative engagement and sharing of information and data, in particular with the Mig-29 and Su-35 recently acquired by Cairo from Moscow, contracts regarding which Washington has has already expressed its great dissatisfaction , by limiting the options for modernizing the Egyptian F16 fleet. This point, already highlighted previously by Egyptian officials, appears to represent a strong argument regarding the expansion of the country's Rafale
For the moment, the subject has not yet been raised publicly by the French authorities, nor by Team Rafale . But the hypothesis of a potentially large new order, which will be arbitrated in volume according to Egyptian budgetary capacities when the time comes, undoubtedly puts the Rafale Rafale and its F4 version , in the spotlight while several countries are currently arbitrating even a possible acquisition of the French plane. Remember that the F4 standard will constitute a major milestone in the program. Indeed, it will not relate to a single model, but to two versions of the device, the F4.1 based on an evolution of the F3R , and the F4.2 which will be based on a new cell offering more evolutionary potential. advanced particularly in the field of data fusion and the integration of new sensors. In fact, for Cairo, having the 2 models, the F4.1 after upgrades to the 24+30 aircraft already ordered, and the F4.2 offering significant capacities comparable to those of the 5th generation aircraft, represents a major challenge to establish itself in the Middle East as well as in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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