The Rafale aircraft will provide modern capabilities to the French military until the FCAS is ready for service.
France has issued an order to this effect Fifth installment Rafale fighter jets for its military. The €5 billion (USD 5.5 billion) contract will provide the French Air and Space Force with 42 new Rafale F4 fighter jets, 12 of which will replace those sold to Croatia, between 2027 and 2032.
The December order, although it was just announced, brings the total number of Rafales ordered by France to 234, with total export orders currently standing at 261 aircraft. Security messages Dassault is reported to have 211 Rafale fighter jets are pendingThat means the production line will be active for more than 10 years with a target of 15 aircraft per year.
The new order will contribute to more than 7,000 jobs in 400 companies in France, underlined French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu. However, French officials are expressing concerns about the development of the Future Air Combat System, which is currently expected to enter service no later than 2045.
The new aircraft will all be single-seat Rafale F4s, the same standard being upgraded to all others currently in service. These aircraft will be upgraded in the 2030s F5 standard, the government has asked Dassault to begin development this year. The upgrade is seen as preparation for the entry into service of FCAS's next-generation fighter, which aims to maintain capability for air combat operations and integrate connectivity beyond the F4 standard.
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