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France’s “Super Rafale” Takes on F-35 to Conquer Global Market Dominance

Called Rafale F5 or "Super Rafale," France hopes that its latest variant of the pride of its fighter aircraft can "capture" the international fighter jet market, where it has often faced challenges, especially from the F-35 fighter jets developed by Lockheed Martin.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Starting from next year until 2030, France will begin developing a more advanced variant of the Rafale fighter jet, with the aim of “outperforming” the American-made F-35 fighter jet in global sales.

This effort is being undertaken by Dassault Aviation, the company that manufactures the Rafale.

This new variant, called Rafale F5 or “Super Rafale,” is expected to capture the export market, which it has often lost to the F-35, developed by Lockheed Martin.

Dassault Aviation has faced multiple defeats in Europe, including in neighboring countries, in competition to supply fighter jets, although it has achieved victories in the Middle East and Asia, such as in Indonesia.

These repeated losses in Europe have prompted the French company to develop the “Super Rafale” variant to challenge the F-35.

Qatar’s Air Force Rafale


This new variant will be redesigned to operate in conjunction with several loyal wingman drones called “nEUROn,” which will be autonomously controlled by the latest Rafale fighter pilots.

While controlled by the “Super Rafale” pilots, the “nEUROn” drones will still possess their own autonomy.

The aircraft will also be equipped with radar jamming and self-defense systems to create a “defense bubble” for itself and other systems operating with it in the mission.

The radar jamming systems that will be integrated into the “Super Rafale” are intended to address the current limitations of the Rafale in Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) operations.

 The “Super Rafale” will also be redesigned to carry new guided munitions developed through a collaboration between France and Britain, known as the Future Cruise Missile (FCM) and Future Anti-Ship Missile (FASM).

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F-35


These new munitions will replace the use of SCALP/Storm Shadow cruise missiles and AM39 Exocet missiles. The latest Rafale variant will also be equipped with targeting pods that combine the capabilities of the “Talios” and “Reco NG” targeting pods.

 “Talios” targeting pods are used by Rafale F3R and Rafale F4 variants, while “Reco NG” targeting pods are used by Mirage aircraft.

The “Super Rafale” will also be redesigned to carry hypersonic nuclear-guided missiles known as “ASN4G,” which will replace the nuclear-guided “air-sol moyenne portée” (ASMPA) as France’s deterrence capability.

According to French defense analysts, the “Super Rafale” to be developed by Dassault Aviation, along with other assets, will operate as an integrated entity known as the “Club Rafale.”

As per the French defense website “Meta Defense,” the Super Rafale or Rafale F5 will be developed to a high degree.

Rafale with its array of weaponary.


It will function as an Air Combat System within a system, rather than just a fighter jet, as the current Rafale F4 variant is.

At present, the French Air Force operates the Rafale F3R fighter jet variant, with plans to transition to the Rafale F4 variant in the near future. France’s Military Planning Program aims to have the development of the “Super Rafale” or Rafale F5 variant begin from next year until 2030. — DSA


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