Dassault Rafale - Updates and Discussion

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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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 ...

Good luck I suppose.
 

halloweene

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Dec 1, 2017
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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.
Yes, i was wrongly assertive. Sorry, missed something somewhere and confused.
 
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Amarante

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Seen on an Indonesian blog: « Dassault Rafale - Combat Proven Fighters » T-shirts for sale:
😄🙏
 

xxxxx

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Dec 28, 2021
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1640939454628.jpeg
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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The performances of the Rafale radar on your graph are the PESA performances. The tests of the CEAM with the AESA radar showed that the range was doubled with the new antenna.
 
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xxxxx

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Hay @xxxxx , If possible, please try to mention the source of your info-graphics in English as almost none of us can read Chinese. And also your opinion about the credibility of the source and the information( again due to our unfamiliarity with Chinese sources and forums). It will be really helpful.
I’m just sharing the interesting things I saw on the China forum. I don’t know much about the military.
I just learned about India's military development. thank you,
 
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Aizad

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However the radar on the right is not what's on the Rafale. The actual radar has 1000+ TR modules. And this is actually much more impressive than the F-35's 1600+ TR modules. It's because the Rafale's radar is below 600mm whereas the F-35's radar is 800mm.

If the F-35's radar needs to be on the same level as the Rafale's radar, then it needs 2200 TR modules.

It's no different from pixel density on a smartphone, the Rafale's "PPI" is much greater than the F-35's "PPI" even though the F-35's radar is bigger. It's like the Rafale's radar is a 40" 4K screen while the F-35's radar is a 55" 2K screen. The base technology of the Rafale's radar is a generation ahead due to its more advanced TR module technology. It's the same reason why the Rafale's detection range is merely 20% smaller than the F-22's detection range even though the F-22's radar is more than twice as big. The F-35's TR module tech is simply a more modernised cousin of what's used on the F-22.

It's merely due to its larger size and and more multifunction options that the F-35's radar beats the Rafale's. Once the F4.2 technology comes into play over the next few years, the F-35 will take second place.
This is hilarious! It seems that the author of the post has absolutely NO idea about AESA radars and the significance of their T/R modules quantity. The Rafale has only 880, which is the lowest among modern AESA equipped aircraft. The F-35 radar and the F-15EX APG-82V1 radar are hugely more powerful, with integrated power supplies for data's module, compared to Rafale 1St generation AESA radar technology! The Rafale radar is also technically much inferior to the Chinese J-10c and J-20 radars! Secondly, modern US combat aircraft now also use high speed radar networking that can link up with multiple air radars to create a much higher resolution synthetic aperture picture With higher accuracy, They can also use the same antenna for ECM. The latest F-35 radar upgrades will make incremental improvements to it's already top class hardware. When it comes to AESA radars, no one is close to US tech!
 
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randomradio

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This is hilarious! It seems that the author of the post has absolutely NO idea about AESA radars and the significance of their T/R modules quantity. The Rafale has only 880, which is the lowest among modern AESA equipped aircraft. The F-35 radar and the F-15EX APG-82V1 radar are hugely more powerful, with integrated power supplies for data's module, compared to Rafale 1St generation AESA radar technology! The Rafale radar is also technically much inferior to the Chinese J-10c and J-20 radars! Secondly, modern US combat aircraft now also use high speed radar networking that can link up with multiple air radars to create a much higher resolution synthetic aperture picture With higher accuracy, They can also use the same antenna for ECM. The latest F-35 radar upgrades will make incremental improvements to it's already top class hardware. When it comes to AESA radars, no one is close to US tech!

Depending on the quality of the T/R modules, the elements can be closely packed into a radar to provide more capability. The more closely it's packed, the better the beamwidth, the better is the range and angular resolution.

For example, with India's Uttam radar, the first one has just 700+ T/R modules. But the Mk2 version has 1000 T/R modules even though it's smaller than the first one. The reason being the T/R modules are smaller and more closely packed. The Rafale has the same advantage, since a small 600mm radar has 1000 T/R modules whereas a significantly larger 800mm radar has 1400 modules even though it's 75% bigger. A 75% bigger radar should have had 75% more T/R modules. So the F-35 should have been closer to 1700 if it was using the same level of quality that's gone into the Rafale's radar.

Now you are free to argue that the F-35's radar is bigger and more powerful, but that's not how you define technologically more advanced. Even though the F-22 and F-35 have bigger and more powerful radars, the Rafale's radar still comes significantly close to matching them in performance.

If we simply go by advertised figures at face value, the PESA gives us a 140Km tracking range against a 3m2 target, and the AESA doubles that. So we can assume 280Km for 3m2. We know for a fact that the Irbis-E gives us 350Km against a 3m2 target, and we also know for a fact that the F-22's radar does not outrange the Irbis-E. So, assuming the F-22's radar even matches the Irbis-E, then the F-22's radar is within a 70Km margin of the Rafale's radar. Only a 70Km margin with a radar that's more than twice as big is not an impressive achievement.

main-qimg-7dbd1cbb709f32e96a832b372f48cc44.png


Assuming that's for a 1m2 target, 150mi = 240 Km = 315Km against 3m2 target. The Rafale's 280Km is not very far behind.

So the massive twice-as-big APG-77 is just slightly ahead of the Rafale's radar, and the F-35's T/R module count is not as impressive as the Rafale's. So I don't really know how you go around claiming America has better radars.

1st gen, 2nd gen are just words. It's the capability that's important. What's first gen in the US is not first gen elsewhere.
 

Bon Plan

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This is hilarious! It seems that the author of the post has absolutely NO idea about AESA radars and the significance of their T/R modules quantity. The Rafale has only 880, which is the lowest among modern AESA equipped aircraft. The F-35 radar and the F-15EX APG-82V1 radar are hugely more powerful, with integrated power supplies for data's module, compared to Rafale 1St generation AESA radar technology! The Rafale radar is also technically much inferior to the Chinese J-10c and J-20 radars! Secondly, modern US combat aircraft now also use high speed radar networking that can link up with multiple air radars to create a much higher resolution synthetic aperture picture With higher accuracy, They can also use the same antenna for ECM. The latest F-35 radar upgrades will make incremental improvements to it's already top class hardware. When it comes to AESA radars, no one is close to US tech!
It's wrong !
It is the RBE2 AA, the prototyp of the RBE2 with Antenne Active (in french : AA) , using average quality US T/R modules, that used a prototyp antenna made of 880 modules. Il was tested somewhere in 2004 - 2006.
The first serial antenna, with european modules, was born in 2010. There is no picture of thise one.
The sole picture available, and used by all Rafale bashing guy, is the famous one of the AA prototyp.

The Thales RBE2 AESA is fully compliant to fire the longer range medium missile on production : Meteor, with a range in excess of 150km, and probably more on a slow moving target as a Tanker or Awacs.

Hilarious you are !
 
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halloweene

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This is hilarious! It seems that the author of the post has absolutely NO idea about AESA radars and the significance of their T/R modules quantity. The Rafale has only 880, which is the lowest among modern AESA equipped aircraft. The F-35 radar and the F-15EX APG-82V1 radar are hugely more powerful, with integrated power supplies for data's module, compared to Rafale 1St generation AESA radar technology! The Rafale radar is also technically much inferior to the Chinese J-10c and J-20 radars! Secondly, modern US combat aircraft now also use high speed radar networking that can link up with multiple air radars to create a much higher resolution synthetic aperture picture With higher accuracy, They can also use the same antenna for ECM. The latest F-35 radar upgrades will make incremental improvements to it's already top class hardware. When it comes to AESA radars, no one is close to US tech!
Except that it is not, despite armchair generals counting cooling elements (and not modules, but i admit is a proper estimation) on an old prototype antenna. CEAM disclosed the value as "roughly 1000 elements. etc. The rest is usual unsubstanciated claims without any data. i'll give as we say in France, jelly to the porks, but here is what was the reality of modules at Thales in 2018... http://www.microwave-rf.com/documents/14h00 DMS_ V DUPUY Y MANCUSO.pdf
 

randomradio

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FIgyFhAXIAALl-q


In 2018, @florence_parly made a commitment to improve the availability rates of all of our aircraft. A commitment kept and results to match our ambitions, 4 years after the birth of the Aeronautical Maintenance Department.

@randomradio @Picdelamirand-oil @BMD @Bon Plan @WHOHE
135.png


Now, Waiting for this.

Jets that are stored are also counted in this figure. Meaning they don't use all of their aircraft at any one time like the USAF or IAF do.
 
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Picdelamirand-oil

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Jets that are stored are also counted in this figure. Meaning they don't use all of their aircraft at any one time like the USAF or IAF do.
And there were 14 Rafales that were mobilised because they were used as a source of spare parts. Our Minister of Defence decided to buy additional batches of spare parts with the money from the sale of Rafales to Croatia (we could not get new Rafales before 2025) and to put these 14 Rafales back in the air. With the withdrawal of 6 Rafales this year for Greece the availability rate should mechanically improve next year, because we will have to fly the same number of hours with fewer aircraft.
 

randomradio

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And there were 14 Rafales that were mobilised because they were used as a source of spare parts. Our Minister of Defence decided to buy additional batches of spare parts with the money from the sale of Rafales to Croatia (we could not get new Rafales before 2025) and to put these 14 Rafales back in the air. With the withdrawal of 6 Rafales this year for Greece the availability rate should mechanically improve next year, because we will have to fly the same number of hours with fewer aircraft.

No clue why 14 Rafales were cannibalised. The govt should at least pay to keep existing stuff in working order. It's a huge drawback with civilian govts across the world, where they cross into the miltiary's jurisdiction for political benefits.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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No clue why 14 Rafales were cannibalised. The govt should at least pay to keep existing stuff in working order. It's a huge drawback with civilian govts across the world, where they cross into the miltiary's jurisdiction for political benefits.
The military did their best to fulfil the operational contract. I have already explained that with the Rafale, the number of sorties we were able to generate was almost independent of the number of Rafales available but rather a function of the size of the maintenance team, provided that spare parts were available. Well, they preferred to reduce the number of Rafales in order to have more spare parts: this is what maximises the number of sorties. Of course, if budgets were expandable, we wouldn't have to do that.
 

randomradio

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The military did their best to fulfil the operational contract. I have already explained that with the Rafale, the number of sorties we were able to generate was almost independent of the number of Rafales available but rather a function of the size of the maintenance team, provided that spare parts were available. Well, they preferred to reduce the number of Rafales in order to have more spare parts: this is what maximises the number of sorties. Of course, if budgets were expandable, we wouldn't have to do that.

For govts, the choice is between spending now by buying more spares or someone else spending in the future to bring the 14 jets up to speed and replacing the jets that were used up early. It's obvious govts prefer to push their spending on someone else instead. I don't have much hope for the future of the military in Europe.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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For govts, the choice is between spending now by buying more spares or someone else spending in the future to bring the 14 jets up to speed and replacing the jets that were used up early. It's obvious govts prefer to push their spending on someone else instead. I don't have much hope for the future of the military in Europe.
The situation is not quite what you think:
The aircraft that become a source of spare parts are those that are grounded because they have reached their annual flight hour quota. In general, these are aircraft that have gone on OPEX and that have quickly reached this quota (in OPEX our aircraft are used at rates that reach 500% of the normal rate, so after two or three months they come back and are stored at Châteaudun).

These aircraft are therefore regularly put back into service using parts taken from new aircraft that have been stopped.

In order not to have a drop in activity due to the sale of second-hand aircraft to Greece and Croatia, it was decided to carry out more flying hours with the other aircraft, and therefore the stopped aircraft have additional authorisations to fly. But in order to be able to do this, additional spare parts have to be purchased.