Dassault Rafale - Updates and Discussion

_Anonymous_

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Dec 4, 2017
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In France, according to the articles, the start of deliveries will be in 2026 or 2027. This means that production will start in 2023 or 2024.
A normal start would be in 2022 because we are at the end of 2021 and there is still the down payment to be made for the contract to come into force (€2.25 billion anyway).
I think that a second assembly line is also needed, which would explain a year's delay, and finally there are probably specific developments for the UAE.
I thought since the F-4. 0 is on order & the same would be available from 2023-24 onwards, the production would commence then.
 

randomradio

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Canada never stopped being an F-35 program partner. They're already paying for the development of the Lightning The Second. The whole tender is just a waste of everyone's time, a way to wait until the bad press of the F-35 gets forgotten.

And Canada never looks at price for their procurement decisions. If they did, they'd have gone with the FREMM proposal for their surface combatant program.

When you bring in politics into the equation, I gotta agree with you. But if they go only by tender rules, and consider cost at this stage of the tender, then the Gripen is the obvious choice. Regardless, it seems the RCAF feel Gripen meets their requirements, since it has been shortlisted.

While I didn't follow the Canadian frigate program, a cursory look says the FREMM bid was unsolicited. And most of what I've seen about the Type 26 choice is that it was selected based on tech specs rather than cost. The tender rules are not the same.
 

randomradio

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All these speculations about LCA Mk2 and MRFA are ridiculous.

LCA Mk2 is happening. MRFA is also happening. Neither program conflicts with the other and the IAF has the budget size necessary to make both programs happen simultaneously together today itself ($1.5B + $2.5B per year), never mind the future defence budget that will actually pay for it.

This thread was created for non-Indian deals, peeps.
 

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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Egypt was the first customer of both the Mirage 2000 and the Rafale. :p

But yes, India has been the source of a lot of very enthusiastic positive coverage for our beautiful birds. Though that was marred by a lot of not-so-positive coverage thanks to Rahul's attempt at turning it into a new Bofors scandal. And India is the only customer who has not yet made a repeat order after receiving the jet -- Egypt, Qatar, and Greece all have ordered more, with Egypt even promising to order even more later.
The source behind him was "Mediapart" and if I remember it's French investigate organization (journal)?
 

halloweene

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Well, looks like my fears have come true, about conformal arrays.

And no GaN for the RBE2 on F4? That would make it even worse than my original fears.
No, no GaN on F4 radar. They found another way to improve it, shortening travel time of signal in electronic circuits, bit it is highly classified.
Exactly what i meant : a dummy antenna presented for an airshow and cooling elements counted. Real photos of the antenna are blurred. In 2013, CEAM disclosed the real number : around 1000. Btw, RBE2 has a real time 3D mapping capability for ground following flights. Doese it make RBE2 AESA superior to AN/APG 79? No. Exactly as GMTT/GMTI modes do not make APG superior to RBE2.

Oh and F4 standard Rafale was recently inducted in Air Force, and DGA has proceeded to testing it in May. AND it displays a GMTT/GMTI mode...
 

randomradio

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No, no GaN on F4 radar. They found another way to improve it, shortening travel time of signal in electronic circuits, bit it is highly classified.

Okay, then. The radar's small size needed compensation using more advanced TRMs, but it's gonna fall short now. Better system design for GaAs isn't gonna compensate for GaN's advantages. All it really serves to do is keep the jet cheap.

So, with no GaN and conformal arrays, it's become a contemporary jet, ie almost the same as what everyone else is offering in MRFA in terms of electronics hardware.

What about GaN for SPECTRA?
 

halloweene

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What about GaN for SPECTRA?
LM has moved on to Fifth gen EOTS on F35. And can make is backward compatible with Fourth gen fighters.
One benefit of external pods is that the sensor can be rapidly upgraded and integrated in quick time.
I cannot answer to that question (GaN), but there are significant improvements for spectra on F4 standard. And no, EOTS is a sniper XR pod folded. And not the latest sniper.
 

AbRaj

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@halloweene
As per the @Picard, Both OSF and EOTS are very similar systems (IRST+FLIR) with EOTS having higher tracking range and 360 degree coverage.


Situational awareness

Rafale’s primary air-to-air sensor is OSF optical sensor suite on top of the nose, and has 80/130 km detection range against subsonic targets. It consists of IRST sensor with 40 km identification range and video camera with 45-50 km identification range. In addition, it has RBE-2 radar, two fisheye IR MAWS sensors and 4 RWR sensors. MAWS and RWR sensors provide spherical coverage, and can be used to generate firing solution. It has framed canopy providing 360* horizontal and 197,7* vertical visibility, including 16* over the nose, 1,7* over the tail and 27* over the sides, with a maximum of 54* over the side visibility. RBE-2 has 120* angular coverage while RBE-2AA (AESA) has 140* angular coverage.

F-35 has a single IRST sensor (EOTS) under the nose, with 160 km detection range against low-flying targets in afterburner. It is a staring midwave (or dual-band) sensor covering low frontal sector. Additionally, its IR missile warning system (DAS) can (?) be used as IRST. This system provides spherical coverage, with a caveat that it is short-ranged when compared to full-blown IRST systems. It also has radar and RWR sensors. It has a sunk, framed canopy providing 340* horizontal and 188,5* vertical visibility, including 16* over the nose, -7,5* over the tail and 26* over the sides, with a maximum of 40* over the side visibility.

Overall, both aircraft have similar raw situational awareness. Rafale has the advantage of having air-to-air optimized IRST and 360* cockpit visibility, while F-35 may have spherical coverage with DAS providing optical feed to the pilot, assuming that helmet issues are solved. However, pilots still prefer not to use the helmet, as that way they can see with far more clarity and depth perception than what helmet allows. F-35s EOTS may be capable of detecting aircraft at 160 km from the rear, compared to 130 km detection range of OSF, but since aircraft detected was low-flying F-16 in afterburner, it is hard to estimate wether it will be able to detect aircraft from that distance at higher altitudes if it does not engage afterburner; answer is most likely no (most likely range is 50-55 km, based on factors outlined here). Its radar is also optimized for air-to-ground work.
 

BMD

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Dec 4, 2017
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Here is a good analysis of both platforms


So it’s not false to say that even in BVR fights, Rafale can easily outclass F18 (sans AIM 260) . The odds are even worse in WVR/Dogfight for a F18 pilot.
That's a comparison done by a random guy called Picard. You can't just look at missile range, it's about radar range vs EW too, and with GaN the larger APG-79(V)4 beats the RBE2 AESA and any future proposed variant of it that could possibly fit in a Rafale. Since the APG-79(V)4 is also configured for EA there is no chance in hell of a Rafale winning BVR, even with AAMs that can reach the moon.

A Spectra without GaN is gonna be very disappointing.
Much like a Spectra with GaN.

Japanese defense budget released - they will buy 12 more F-35s, 8 A versions and 4 B versions - and will also will make a longer range Type 12 Ashm which could be launched from the ground, and potentially the P-1.
 
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AbRaj

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That's a comparison done by a random guy called Picard. You can't just look at missile range, it's about radar range vs EW too, and with GaN the larger APG-79(V)4 beats the RBE2 AESA and any future proposed variant of it that could possibly fit in a Rafale.


Much like a Spectra with GaN.

Japanese defense budget released - they will buy 12 more F-35s, 8 A versions and 4 B versions - and will also will make a longer range Type 12 Ashm which could be launched from the ground, and potentially the P-1.
Is it so ?
Hushkit article is by a guy named Justin Bronx from RUSI Foundation, UK.

And @Picard is the same guy who goes by the same name in this forum.
 

AbRaj

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Do yourself a favour. Ignore anything on Wordpress.
I think you have mixed up two different articles. First one was from Hushkit and second one was from Wordpress.

And BTW Rafale is well equipped to operate in that kind of electronic threat environment. It was designed to do so thanks to its SPECTRA,OSF and MICA-IR combo.
The APG-79 due to its limited size and power, is not a big threat (IMO) but the EA pods like ALQ-218 receiver, ALQ-99 tactical jamming pods, ALQ-227 Communication Countermeasures Set and The AN/ALQ-249, the Next Generation JP that
it carries on its pylons, do pose a great threat to any enemy aircraft
 
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Picdelamirand-oil

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Okay, then. The radar's small size needed compensation using more advanced TRMs, but it's gonna fall short now. Better system design for GaAs isn't gonna compensate for GaN's advantages. All it really serves to do is keep the jet cheap.

So, with no GaN and conformal arrays, it's become a contemporary jet, ie almost the same as what everyone else is offering in MRFA in terms of electronics hardware.

What about GaN for SPECTRA?
I think @halloweene is very pessimistic, and I don't think he has any recent information to back it up. Also I think he is confusing what I had said about the SPECTRA antennas that were to be GaN already for F3R with the radar for F4.

So I'll give my perspective.

The F4 program is not showing any signs of being behind or narrowing its field. It was planned at launch that F4.1 would be delivered in 2024 and F4.2 in 2025. Then Dassault declared that F4.2 would be delivered in 2024 and it was deduced that F4.1 would be delivered in 2023. As F4.1 is currently being tested, this schedule seems possible with a delivery rather at the end of the year than at the beginning.

The GaN was foreseen in the description of F4. On the other hand, we know that F4.1 avoids complex structural modifications, which means that F4.2 does incorporate such modifications.

So for me, F4.1 will have GaN for the SPECTRA antennas, but the retrofit may not happen on all AAE aircraft. It will be able to handle the main radar antenna, whether it is PESA, AESA or AESA GaN, but again we will probably only have a few antennas. Moreover the delivery of these antennas has no reason to be synchronous with the delivery of F4.1. it could take place at the same time as F4.2.

The major new feature of F4.1 will be the connectivity with a satellite antenna and a new intra-patrol data link that will extend data fusion to the patrol under good conditions. The capabilities associated with this connectivity are the ones that will require the most training for the crews and it's good that we can start them a year ahead of F4.2.

F4.2 will have new wiring, new cooling systems and openings to install new antennas on the aircraft. Some will be installed and managed and others will arrive a bit later without requiring a new standard but only an upgrade like F4.2R or F4.2O4T! As Thales said it might not be quite ready (when Dassault brought forward the date of F4.2) I think that the main Radar antenna will be GaN but that the side antennas will arrive in 2025 as originally planned.
 

randomradio

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I think @halloweene is very pessimistic, and I don't think he has any recent information to back it up. Also I think he is confusing what I had said about the SPECTRA antennas that were to be GaN already for F3R with the radar for F4.

So I'll give my perspective.

The F4 program is not showing any signs of being behind or narrowing its field. It was planned at launch that F4.1 would be delivered in 2024 and F4.2 in 2025. Then Dassault declared that F4.2 would be delivered in 2024 and it was deduced that F4.1 would be delivered in 2023. As F4.1 is currently being tested, this schedule seems possible with a delivery rather at the end of the year than at the beginning.

The GaN was foreseen in the description of F4. On the other hand, we know that F4.1 avoids complex structural modifications, which means that F4.2 does incorporate such modifications.

So for me, F4.1 will have GaN for the SPECTRA antennas, but the retrofit may not happen on all AAE aircraft. It will be able to handle the main radar antenna, whether it is PESA, AESA or AESA GaN, but again we will probably only have a few antennas. Moreover the delivery of these antennas has no reason to be synchronous with the delivery of F4.1. it could take place at the same time as F4.2.

The major new feature of F4.1 will be the connectivity with a satellite antenna and a new intra-patrol data link that will extend data fusion to the patrol under good conditions. The capabilities associated with this connectivity are the ones that will require the most training for the crews and it's good that we can start them a year ahead of F4.2.

F4.2 will have new wiring, new cooling systems and openings to install new antennas on the aircraft. Some will be installed and managed and others will arrive a bit later without requiring a new standard but only an upgrade like F4.2R or F4.2O4T! As Thales said it might not be quite ready (when Dassault brought forward the date of F4.2) I think that the main Radar antenna will be GaN but that the side antennas will arrive in 2025 as originally planned.

Yep, this is what was originally said. F4.1 will come with GaN for Spectra, ie, INCAS, with the radar being the same old one or only slightly upgraded. Also including a new helmet, SDR and patrol link. And F4.2 will have structural modifications to incorporate conformal arrays.

So if the main radar has GaN from F4.2 onwards, then it's fine even if conformal arrays become an option later on. Conformal arrays can be retrofitted anytime, but I don't think GaAs to GaN will be as simple as PESA to AESA, rather I think it's going to need significant modifications.

So the options are having practically nothing new for F4.2, as per @halloweene, and having everything, as per you. That spectrum is way too wide.
 
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Picdelamirand-oil

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Yep, this is what was originally said. F4.1 will come with GaN for Spectra, ie, INCAS, with the radar being the same old one or only slightly upgraded. Also including a new helmet, SDR and patrol link. And F4.2 will have structural modifications to incorporate conformal arrays.

So if the main radar has GaN from F4.2 onwards, then it's fine even if conformal arrays become an option later on. Conformal arrays can be retrofitted anytime, but I don't think GaAs to GaN will be as simple as PESA to AESA, rather I think it's going to need significant modifications.

So the options are having practically nothing new for F4.2, as per @halloweene, and having everything, as per you. That spectrum is way too wide.
I'm waiting for a phone appointment with a friend who is still working on it. The exchange will have to be done on a Thales line, so not before about ten days. The advantage of this caution is that he will tell me more, the difficulty will be to know what it is possible to communicate at the end ...