Dassault Aviation announced on 22 March last year that French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has authorised development of the new RAFALE F4 standard. India has placed an order for 36 Rafales of the currently available F3 standard .
What Indian Rafale F3 will have ?
India’s Rafale will deploy the in-development BrahMos NG missile in either a twin or single weapon load-out when the system is ready from 2021. The MBDA Scalp and BrahMos will provide planners with unique subsonic/supersonic stand-off attack options available to no other air force in the world. The Rafale deal also includes assurances for coding extensions to other in-development Indian weapon systems, including the Astra BVRAAM.
The Indian Rafale will sport the fully internal SPECTRA electronic warfare system, billed as the ‘cornerstone of the Rafale’s outstanding survivability against the latest airborne and ground threats’.
The Rafale is equipped with an RBE2 passive electronically scanned radar developed by Thales, which has look-down and shoot-down capabilities and it can track up to eight targets simultaneously and provides threat identification and prioritisation.
Active electronic scanning makes it possible to switch radar modes quickly, thereby enabling operational functions to run simultaneously.
In short, the Rafale can carry a wide range of weapons, and perform air to air, air to ground, and air to sea combat well.
What Rafale’s upcoming F4 standard will have :
The Standard F4 will include a whole new generation of sensors and weapons helping boost the fighter’s already fearsome air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities.Additional radar functionalities will be introduced for the detection of threats in challenging environments, notably a Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) mode.
Rafale F4 will also upgrade Scalp stealth cruise missiles of the Scalp / Storm Shadow family and improved and heavier Hammer (Highly Agile, Modular Munition Extended Range) precision weapons. The Mica family of air-to-air missiles will be upgraded too, to guarantee operational relevance against a whole range of emerging threats. With all these improvements on the horizon, the battle-hardened Rafale will remain a lethal combat tool for the foreseeable future.
Rafale F4 will also include weapon integration modifications to include new variants of air/air Mica, Scalp and the nuclear cruise missile ASMP-A (currently deployed exclusively on Mirage 2000N). However, due to the relatively short span of the program, it is likely to focus mainly on capabilities based on software and limited hardware upgrades.
More powerful engines will be installed from current Snecma M-88 that produce 75kN of thrust each. Upgrades could include cockpit redesign or introduction of low-observability modifications to better position this 4.5 generation fighter against modern and future fighters.
Source:- Defence Update