MMRCA 2.0 - Updates and Discussions

What is your favorite for MMRCA 2.0 ?

  • JSF F-35 Blk 4

    Votes: 22 11.6%
  • Rafale F4

    Votes: 152 80.0%
  • Eurofighter Typhoon T3

    Votes: 4 2.1%
  • Gripen E/F

    Votes: 4 2.1%
  • F-16 B70

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • SH F-18

    Votes: 8 4.2%
  • F-15EX

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    190

Lolwa

Well-Known member
Feb 6, 2020
847
639
Delhi
Is LCA mk2 even threat to F16 blk 70 or higher models?

Are you telling KFX blk1 or initial variant is equivalent to presentbday rafale? How our [email protected] or upcoming mk2 stands infront of Rafale F3 & F4 variants?
LcA mk2 will be most likely superior when it comes to RCS. So it most probably should be better positioned when it comes to bvr. Though I don't think we can match American quality of ecm. Blk 70 is a bomb truck so most likely will be defeated in wvr provided the LCA mk2 can match performance similar to the Gripen E. Blk 70 is inferior to the gripen E..
 
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Hydra

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May 19, 2020
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Mumbai
LcA mk2 will be most likely superior when it comes to RCS. So it most probably should be better positioned when it comes to bvr. Though I don't think we can match American quality of ecm. Blk 70 is a bomb truck so most likely will be defeated in wvr provided the LCA mk2 can match performance similar to the Gripen E. Blk 70 is inferior to the gripen E..
Utility of low RCS is a bluff ( low rcs not stealth), keep that it mind. This was explained by non other than HAL test pilot HVT itself. With existing 4th gen fighter radars are capable to get lock on any thing at bvr range if its RCS is greater than 1.5m2. No fourth gen aircraft will have less than 1.5 m2 rcs when it is hard points are loaded with weapons.

So real game changer wilp be EW suite and aircraft's kinematic performance. If blk70 EW inferior, then LCA may have a chance. But we dont know what exactly will have LCA mk2.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
9,796
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India
Is LCA mk2 even threat to F16 blk 70 or higher models?

They are more or less similar. The F-16 is better in some ways and vice versa. The LCA Mk2 will be a better air superiority fighter while the F-16 will be a better strike fighter. Mk2 is cheaper so it most definitely is a major threat depending on the need of the customer and the geography it will be used in. For example, Vietnam faces mountains and seas, so the LCA's airframe design is more suitable for rarefied air and its materials will face less problems in marine environment. Otoh, the F-16's greater engine power makes it more useful in hot and dry climates in the plains.

Anyway, what's most important is cost. The Mk2 will be significantly cheaper to buy and maintain and will provide superior availability. But the F-16 will have significantly more service life, which can potentially offset the difference.

Are you telling KFX blk1 or initial variant is equivalent to presentbday rafale?

Nope. The KFX Phase 1 is most definitely inferior to the Rafale. I doubt the Koreans will be able to match the capabilities of the F4.2 with phase 1. I don't think there's anybody in the world who will come close with existing designs. Only Su-57, J-20 and NGAD have the earliest possible potential of beating the Rafale F4.2, and that's closer to 2030 or later.

How our [email protected] or upcoming mk2 stands infront of Rafale F3 & F4 variants?

LCA Mk1A doesn't even match up to the Rafale F3R, never mind the F4.2. The main strengths of the Mk1A are it carries an AESA radar along with capable BVR and WVR missiles, which is roughly on par with Rafale in some ways. But in everything else it's inferior. Mk2 improves on the Mk1A by a significant margin, but in the end it's still a smaller single engine aircraft with lesser range and payload. Maybe it will come close or even match the Rafale F3R, perhaps gain some advantage with GaN tech, but it's unlikely to match the F4.2. Anyway, the LCA and Rafale are not comparable due to the class difference. I'm only hoping the Mk2 is as good or better than the Gripen E.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
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India
Why do you say that F4.2 is not flying today? In France we are more demanding to say that a programme is up to date than the Anglo-Saxons, but that doesn't mean that we can't show anything or have anything flown. Everything that will be in F4.2 has been developed in PEAs that end with demonstrators that fly, and since F4 was launched there must have been quite a few integrations already achieved. I'm sure that F4 is more advanced than Block 4 of the F-35 and that for example we were able to show the "contact" software defined radios that will ensure F4's connectivity, and the Rafale's ability to be a communication node.
F4.2 is proposed because the Finns have been able to measure the performance of the functions that will be in F4.2. As I said at the beginning, it is not the specifications that count but the measurements that the Finns have made.
It's like the AESA prototype tested in India for MMRCA.

The point is the F4.2 is not ready to use. It's in development. Regardless of when it will become available, let's say 2023, the decision is going to be made using paper specs from 2019 or 2020 only by the end of 2021.

So the arguments are the same even for LM. "Why do you say that 'F-35 Block 4' is not flying today?" can be thrown right back at Dassault. In the end it appears the Finns are fine with demonstrator measurements. So I'm sure everything that's supposed to go on the F-35 B4 already exists in demonstrator form, even stuff meant to go on B5 or even B10, perhaps includes a new SDR too.

I think that as long as operational versions are not evaluated, like India did, then paper evaluations can bring in a lot of uncertainty which can make the competition unfair.

I'm sure that Rafale F4.2 will have a massive advantage over the F-35's avionics. But I don't think France has as much advantage over America in Finland. What I'm saying is it's possible that this will end up being a political decision by using paper specs to the F-35's advantage.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
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The point is the F4.2 is not ready to use. It's in development. Regardless of when it will become available, let's say 2023, the decision is going to be made using paper specs from 2019 or 2020 only by the end of 2021.

So the arguments are the same even for LM. "Why do you say that 'F-35 Block 4' is not flying today?" can be thrown right back at Dassault. In the end it appears the Finns are fine with demonstrator measurements. So I'm sure everything that's supposed to go on the F-35 B4 already exists in demonstrator form, even stuff meant to go on B5 or even B10, perhaps includes a new SDR too.

I think that as long as operational versions are not evaluated, like India did, then paper evaluations can bring in a lot of uncertainty which can make the competition unfair.

I'm sure that Rafale F4.2 will have a massive advantage over the F-35's avionics. But I don't think France has as much advantage over America in Finland. What I'm saying is it's possible that this will end up being a political decision by using paper specs to the F-35's advantage.
Finland doesn't take into account paper specs.
F4.2 is not operationally available, but it can already be used to demonstrate and measure performance if these demonstrations are well prepared. And we have indeed given such demonstrations to the Finns. Block 4 of the F-35 is very late and delivered only one capability out of 18 at its last iteration. What Lookhed calls a delivered capability wouldn't even be considered a PEA in France, it's usually something that works in isolation, but it causes a lot of problems in the F-35's software if you want to integrate it. It is therefore not demonstrable under good conditions. I am sure that the Finns will have seen the difference.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
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India
Finland doesn't take into account paper specs.
F4.2 is not operationally available, but it can already be used to demonstrate and measure performance if these demonstrations are well prepared. And we have indeed given such demonstrations to the Finns. Block 4 of the F-35 is very late and delivered only one capability out of 18 at its last iteration. What Lookhed calls a delivered capability wouldn't even be considered a PEA in France, it's usually something that works in isolation, but it causes a lot of problems in the F-35's software if you want to integrate it. It is therefore not demonstrable under good conditions. I am sure that the Finns will have seen the difference.

Can you provide examples of what you're trying to imply?
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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Can you provide examples of what you're trying to imply?
Just one difference that is obvious:
The F-35 is deployed on operations while there are still 13 Category 1 anomalies in the best version of the latest standard. For the Rafale, if a Category 1 anomaly is found, the entire fleet is grounded. And as we want to avoid this, the tests before the deployment of a version are much more advanced than in the US. This explains why we already have demonstrable versions of the F4, which in the US would already be deployed, but which we are in the process of "solidifying" (which is very long) before such a deployment.
 
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randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
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India
Just one difference that is obvious:
The F-35 is deployed on operations while there are still 13 Category 1 anomalies in the best version of the latest standard. For the Rafale, if a Category 1 anomaly is found, the entire fleet is grounded. And as we want to avoid this, the tests before the deployment of a version are much more advanced than in the US. This explains why we already have demonstrable versions of the F4, which in the US would already be deployed, but which we are in the process of "solidifying" (which is very long) before such a deployment.

That shouldn't affect demonstrators though. If Cat 1 problems exist on the F-35, the LM can always claim they will be fixed by 2025. I'm sure all the export F-35 operators have been convinced with that. I think you have to go with the assumption that LM will claim the F-35 will have zero Cat 1 problems and all aspects of the jet will work as intended in 2025. That's what using paper specs mean anyway, ie, everything will work as intended.

So the way I see it, the Finns will accept all measurements of the F-35 that work and have been cleared for operational use, and all the measurements that are pending clearance, regardless of what Category the problem is, the Finns will accept LM's promises based on paper specs. So I'm saying the Rafale F4.2 will have to face the F-35 Block 4 as a fully functioning and operational aircraft. Which means even the CPFH will be set at $25000 instead of $40000 since that's the promised number. The actual real world development status of either jet won't matter then. The reason I'm considering all this is due to the fact that the F-35 is currently so bad that the Finns have no choice but to use paper specs.

Tenders always give some leeway to the OEM even if the Finns have claimed they will use only what they have measured. Whatever has not been adequately measured will naturally rely on the OEM's paper specs and that's most of the F-35. This is always the catch with simulations. Otoh, Singapore tested currently operational aircraft in real world conditions against their air force operated F-16s.

So if we assume the F-35 wins in 2021 based on false promises, if in 2025 the Rafale is fully operational with F4.2 while the F-35 is still facing 10+ Cat 1 problems, it will be too late for the Finns.
 
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kor4116

Member
Feb 17, 2021
7
11
korea
Nope. The KFX Phase 1 is most definitely inferior to the Rafale. I doubt the Koreans will be able to match the capabilities of the F4.2 with phase 1. I don't think there's anybody in the world who will come close with existing designs. Only Su-57, J-20 and NGAD have the earliest possible potential of beating the Rafale F4.2, and that's closer to 2030 or later.
I personally think that it is difficult for early model blk1 kfx to catch up with Rafale, the crystal of world-class French aviation technology. kai, the developer of kfx, did basic external stealth design with the motto of the Raptor, and in the mechanical design of kfx, the internal space for installing the internal armament window for complete stealth capability was left, so that it became a complete fifth-generation fighter in the blk3 stage after the 2030s. It leaves space for improvement. However, blk3 is just a company's wish, there is currently nothing set by the government. Up to now, the officially confirmed improvement by the government is up to blk2 with full ground attack capability. Most Koreans call kfx "baby raptor" and hope to get to blk3. The completeness of blk1~blk2 kfx will determine whether blk3 or not.
 

Dawg-69

Member
Feb 23, 2021
4
11
Finland
So the way I see it, the Finns will accept all measurements of the F-35 that work and have been cleared for operational use, and all the measurements that are pending clearance, regardless of what Category the problem is, the Finns will accept LM's promises based on paper specs. So I'm saying the Rafale F4.2 will have to face the F-35 Block 4 as a fully functioning and operational aircraft. Which means even the CPFH will be set at $25000 instead of $40000 since that's the promised number. The actual real world development status of either jet won't matter then. The reason I'm considering all this is due to the fact that the F-35 is currently so bad that the Finns have no choice but to use paper specs.

Tenders always give some leeway to the OEM even if the Finns have claimed they will use only what they have measured. Whatever has not been adequately measured will naturally rely on the OEM's paper specs and that's most of the F-35. This is always the catch with simulations. Otoh, Singapore tested currently operational aircraft in real world conditions against their air force operated F-16s.
Hi, new member here, interesting discussion.

I am actually Finnish, though I have lived in various other countries as well when I as small. I have been reading up on HX in Finnish language for quite some time.

I think the HX competition goes something like this: the simulation is supposed to run on specs that were measured in real life when each one of the jets were in Finland. BUT-

If there was a problem with measurements, then simulation will be done on paper specs. HOWEVER, and this is important - there will be a penalty given to paper specs. They are NOT going to accept what the manufacturer says.

It is all very interesting. Fact is, Finland is very much a rule-based society. Finns are famous for not crossing the street when the red light is on - even if they don't see a car anywhere.

The HX testing was pretty bad for F-35. Four planes were supposed to arrive to Finland, but only two made it. Of these two, one had a problem and was out of action. I don't know how much testing data they managed to get or not get.

I personally like all the Eurocanards in HX. I would be very happy to see Rafale win. It will be very interesting, and important also because it is maybe the most thorough competition ever for this set of airplanes.

One little bit of extra info is that Israel has been also contacted within HX. It is therefore possible that some weapons for HX could be bought from Israel. Link here:

The Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command sent a Request for Information (RfI) on weapons and other equipment regarding the HX fighter project - The Finnish Defence Forces (puolustusvoimat.fi)
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
9,796
7,423
India
Hi, new member here, interesting discussion.

Welcome to the forum. I'm glad you liked our discussion.

If there was a problem with measurements, then simulation will be done on paper specs. HOWEVER, and this is important - there will be a penalty given to paper specs. They are NOT going to accept what the manufacturer says.

The penalty will be applied to the points table rather than the simulation itself, as it normally is. But the issue is not with the norms, which a penalty system can handle, but it's the exceptions.

The norms would be simple stuff like can it go from point a to b in x time. Radar range against a particular target. The length of time it can stay up. Payload. And so on.

The issue will be aspects that cannot be simulated, like the problems associated with how the radar and EW suite communicate with each other. For example, the fusion engine on the F-35 is so bad that sensor data from multiple sources are being presented to the pilot multiple times, this is something that cannot be simulated. And it's very difficult to apply penalty in this case since the sensors themselves are working fine. You can't measure this either, but you can only rely on LM's promise that they will fix it within 4 years. But having fusion and not having it creates a generation difference.

In the F-35, it's the micro aspects that are affecting the macro aspects. It's like your thumb's broken, you are prefectly healthy otherwise, but you can't play basketball with a broken thumb, so you are benched. You obviously can't judge the quality of a player simply because he has a broken thumb. The F-35 simply has broken fingers, toes, wrists etc along with a severe concussion, and people are hoping that the damage to the wrist and the head injury are not career ending, but it's overall healthy otherwise. The F-35 countries are simply betting their money on a full recovery. So the question is whether Finland will make the same bet.

It is all very interesting.

Yeah, it's pretty interesting. It's quite similar to what the Koreans did, but their deal was completely political. I have always been hoping the Finnish competition would be impartial, been waiting for it for nearly half a decade now. Both the Finnish and the Swiss deals.

Fact is, Finland is very much a rule-based society. Finns are famous for not crossing the street when the red light is on - even if they don't see a car anywhere.

That's good. Our red lights here are merely decorations sometimes. Anyway, strategic deals are rarely based on rules and choosing between America and France will be very difficult considering American influence in NATO.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
9,796
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India

That's something we can judge only after we see it flying. If it's something that's meant to be as or more capable than the Gripen E / LCA Mk2, then we can say for sure that it's not meant to conflict with the F-35's role. But if it ends up with all-aspect stealth, internal bays, supercruise etc, then it's definitely a replacement for the F-35.

Whatever the case, the world can't afford the Americans to screw up this badly again.
 

Dawg-69

Member
Feb 23, 2021
4
11
Finland
Here is an interesting blog. One Finnish guy has been running sims in CMO, a respected military sim, with all the HX contestants - F-35, Rafale, Typhoon, Gripen and Super Bug:


The scenarios involve an air war in northern Finland. We are only talking about DCA here, meaning Defensive Counter Air.

Results are interesting. Typhoon is winner overall. Typhoon has many advantages: it can shoot missiles farther away than other by virtue of it's great speed, possibly shooting while in supercruise and such.

Second is Gripen. Gripen beats Rafale because it has the AEW plane to support it - the SAAB GlobalEye plane is there to help. What is interesting is that the GlobalEye is not enough to make it superior to Typhoon.

Rafale gives a good account of itself. No problem there. In case the GlobalEye is not available, Rafale will obviously be superior to Gripen because it is a bigger and more powerful aircraft.

All Eurocanards come on top of the American contestants. Main reason is probably that the 'muricans don't have Meteor missiles.

Rock bottom is... surprise, surprise... the F-35. It is maybe the Growlers that help the Super Hornet come out on top of the F-35.

While it is only a simulation, one fact stands out: the Meteor missile is needed for best performance in counter air. All EuroCanards have it. Americans don't.

Now that Britain is cutting their orders for the F-35, it seems that there will NEVER be Meteor for the F-35A. OK, maybe. Maybe it is easy to make it work on the F-35A if they integrate it on the F-35B. But maybe not. I don't know.
 
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randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
9,796
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Results are interesting. Typhoon is winner overall. Typhoon has many advantages: it can shoot missiles farther away than other by virtue of it's great speed, possibly shooting while in supercruise and such.

Weird. 'Cause Rafale is only very slightly slower when you bring in supercruise.

While it is only a simulation, one fact stands out: the Meteor missile is needed for best performance in counter air. All EuroCanards have it. Americans don't.

The simulations were not realistic though. Plus you need to conduct multiple such simulations to create an average.

Now that Britain is cutting their orders for the F-35, it seems that there will NEVER be Meteor for the F-35A. OK, maybe. Maybe it is easy to make it work on the F-35A if they integrate it on the F-35B. But maybe not. I don't know.

Meteor integration won't matter whether it's A or B, the avionics systems are the same. Not to mention the Italians are going for the F-35A, and the Meteor is expected on it. Belgium, Norway and other Europeans are likely to go for Meteor as well.