The Rafale greatly convinced the Egyptian authorities as well as the Egyptian Air Force. The country recently signed a new order comprising 30 modern standard F3R aircraft, as well as two A330 MRTT air-refueled aircraft and a military satellite.
The Egyptian negotiator also announced his intention to increase the Egyptian Rafale fleet to 72 aircraft, or even 100 aircraft, by submitting new orders in the coming years. It is clear that the capabilities of the French aircraft's newer, futuristic F4 standard meet the country's needs to enhance deterrence and deep-strike capabilities, thus enabling it to strengthen its position as a regional power.
According to the American website breakdefense, citing Egyptian sources familiar with the matter, the Rafale F4 is Cairo's alternative to the American F35A stealth fighters that Washington refused to export to its ally in the Middle East, especially in the field of cooperative engagement.
In addition, the Rafale F4 will have a range of modern sensors including a new version of the AESA RBE2 radar, as well as advanced weapons, such as the A2SM Hammer 1,000 kg bombs and the new MICA NG short and medium-range missile. The aircraft will have advanced capabilities in cooperative engagement and exchange of information and data, in particular with the MiG-29 and Su-35 recently acquired by Cairo from Moscow, deals under which Washington has already expressed strong dissatisfaction, through intransigence in modernizing the Egyptian F-16 fleet. It is a point, which Egyptian officials have already made earlier, and taken as a good argument for the extension of the Rafale fleet in the country.
It seems that Data sharing between the Rafale and the Russian aircrafts plays a major role in this decision
At the moment, the topic has not been raised publicly by the French authorities or by the Rafale team. But the hypothesis of a potentially large new order, the size of which will be related to the capabilities of the Egyptian budget when the time comes, will undoubtedly put the Rafale, with its latest version F4, in the spotlight.
It is reported that the F4 standard will be a major step in the program. And it will not be one model, but two versions of the aircraft: the F4.1, which will be based on the development F3R, and the F4.2, which will be based on a new cell that offers more advanced development capabilities, especially in the field of data fusion and integration of new sensors.
As for Cairo, having the two versions, the F4.1 after upgrading the 24 + 30 aircraft it has already ordered, and the F4.2 which offers great capabilities compared to the capabilities of the fifth generation aircraft, is a huge challenge as it will surely impose itself in the Middle East as in the East Mediterranean Sea and strengthen its position as a regional power.