The Rafale F4.2 and F5 will be real Sam Killers

Le Rafale F4.2, as well as Rafale F5, will both be equipped with advanced capabilities in suppressing air defenses or SEAD, according to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Mille.

Just over a year ago, in response to an open question from UDI deputy JC Lagarde, the Ministry of the Armed Forces had ruled that the French air forces had no need for a dedicated version of the Rafale to Electronic Warfare and the Suppression of Adverse Air Defenses, better known by the English acronym SEAD.

For the Hôtel de Brienne, in fact, the Rafale will have, in its future versions, self-protection and collaborative combat capabilities allowing it to evolve in contested environments, while France's allies have such capabilities.

Things have obviously changed a lot since this response. Indeed, during his hearing by the Defense Commission of the National Assembly as part of the next Military Programming Law 2024-2030, General Mille, Chief of Staff of the Air and Space Force, specified that the future standards, from Rafale F4.2 and especially around the future standard Rafale F5, the design of which began this week, will be equipped with increasing and advanced capabilities in terms of suppression of air defenses and evolution in contested environments.

Le Rafale F4.2 will feature SEAD air defense suppression capabilities

No precise information on future developments in the Rafale in this area has not yet been given. The best we know is that due to the info-centric combat capabilities of the device, and the arrival of new munitions such as the new ASN4G nuclear cruise missile and future FMC/FMaN cruise and anti-ship missiles, the aircraft will be able to strike its targets inside the opposing device despite the anti-aircraft cover present.

However, everything suggests that other capabilities will be added to these, including the carriage of electronic warfare jammers as well as a future anti-radiation air-to-ground missile, the essential part of which could constitute a Rafale of Electronic Warfare.

For the CEMAAE, it is a question of maintaining the capacity of the French air and naval forces to enter first and of staying "one step ahead" of the evolution of the adversary's anti-aircraft defenses.

a plane rafale prepares to land on the deck of the aircraft carrier Charless de Gaulle on May 9, 2019 in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Goa 6178270 e1624289420364 Fighter aviation | Awacs and electronic warfare | Military aircraft construction
While the FCAS program timetable tends to slip beyond 2040, the replacement of part of the Rafale M of the National Navy will quickly become involved in French military planning, perhaps even before the end of the LOP 2024-2030 which has decided to ignore this subject for budgetary reasons.

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