MMRCA 2.0 - Updates and Discussions

What is your favorite for MMRCA 2.0 ?

  • JSF F-35 Blk 4

    Votes: 24 12.2%
  • Rafale F4

    Votes: 154 78.6%
  • Eurofighter Typhoon T3

    Votes: 4 2.0%
  • Gripen E/F

    Votes: 4 2.0%
  • F-16 B70

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • SH F-18

    Votes: 9 4.6%
  • F-15EX

    Votes: 1 0.5%

  • Total voters
    196

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
10,129
7,740
India
As you said, it’s cheaper and very effective way to force enemy to switch off its radars in fear of ARM attack.
I brings new ways to do SEAD and DEAD ops
We must integrate our own NGARM (aka Rudram 1) to Rafale and all other platforms for mission flexibility

It's not a new way. It's 70+ years old, first created during WW2 but never used. What the Rafale does is new. NATO fired thousands of ARMs during the Gulf War on Iraq. So it's a very expensive tactic. It was only after that that the US realised stealth is the way to go for SEAD/DEAD.

Anyway, NGARM will likely be integrated with our Rafales based on pilot input, as well as a dozen other Indian weapons in development.
 

Bon Plan

Well-Known member
Dec 1, 2017
1,856
832
France
I agree that Rafale's air-to-ground abilities are stronger than Eurofighters. The Eurofighter's air-to-ground armament capabilities are still very limited. The integration of SCALP-EG is also very recent, almost 10 years behind Rafale.
If the UAE buys Rafale, it's probably a replacement for the Mirage 2000-9. The UAE will purchase at least 50 Rafales. Is the Mirage 2000-9 upgrade contract currently in progress? If so, the conclusion of the Rafale contract will be quite far away. Perhaps Qatar could also consider the option to purchase 36 additional Rafales (24+12+36 = 72 in total) signed at the time of the 2015 contract.
-The main default of EF2000 is the low range in air to ground mission : not fuel enough, too small and too few external tanks.
-UAE M2000-9 upgrade is a low end upgrade. It's just a few years stop gap to wait for the second and non US jet.
-Qatar will not purchase more Rafale. They already have nearly 100 modern jets (without the proper pilots...) and the political relations with France are now quite cold, following the french decision to fight islamism (Qatar give funds to radical islamism, it is now well known).
 

kor4116

Member
Feb 17, 2021
28
21
korea
The Rafale has no problem doing SEAD/DEAD at short range. :giggle:
I didn't say there was a "problem". I said that the addition of the elements I have mentioned makes it "safer and more powerful". The French style of SEAD/DEAD operations is powerful, but unfamiliar to most buyers. Even French documents point out that this tactic is risky. The document even refers to the French-style SEAD tactic as "SEAD du pauvre". See the "Les limites du modèle français de SEAD" section of the article. Most buyers find the American way familiar and safe. How Rafal's SEAD/DEAD model will evolve will be seen in the Rafale F5 version, which will appear in 2030. It is not enough if there are "no problems" right now. In the future, we need to be stronger.
Les armées françaises face aux menaces anti-aériennes de nouvelle génération
 
  • Like
Reactions: Killbot and AbRaj

kor4116

Member
Feb 17, 2021
28
21
korea
-The main default of EF2000 is the low range in air to ground mission : not fuel enough, too small and too few external tanks.
-UAE M2000-9 upgrade is a low end upgrade. It's just a few years stop gap to wait for the second and non US jet.
-Qatar will not purchase more Rafale. They already have nearly 100 modern jets (without the proper pilots...) and the political relations with France are now quite cold, following the french decision to fight islamism (Qatar give funds to radical islamism, it is now well known).
In the Middle East, especially in the UAE and Egypt, I think Rafale is highly likely to be sold. In particular, Egypt is because the United States is putting pressure on Egypt's purchase of the SU-35. Rafale's overseas sales are also paying attention in Korea. With just a few more successful contracts, Rafale's oversea sales will surpass Eurofighters. I'm also very excited about whether 2021 will be the year of Rafale.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,071
2,579
72
France
transition.wifeo.com
I didn't say there was a "problem". I said that the addition of the elements I have mentioned makes it "safer and more powerful". The French style of SEAD/DEAD operations is powerful, but unfamiliar to most buyers. Even French documents point out that this tactic is risky. The document even refers to the French-style SEAD tactic as "SEAD du pauvre". See the "Les limites du modèle français de SEAD" section of the article. Most buyers find the American way familiar and safe. How Rafal's SEAD/DEAD model will evolve will be seen in the Rafale F5 version, which will appear in 2030. It is not enough if there are "no problems" right now. In the future, we need to be stronger.
Les armées françaises face aux menaces anti-aériennes de nouvelle génération
Your paper: "The Limits of the French SEAD Model" is a think tank paper that aims to encourage more credit for the military. All French "defence" oriented think tanks always find that the situation is catastrophic and that we don't have enough weapons and to reach these conclusions all arguments are good. The paper actually minimises the effectiveness of SPECTRA combined with automatic terrain following and long-range Air/Air missiles (for AWACS).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Killbot

kor4116

Member
Feb 17, 2021
28
21
korea
Although it's safer to do anything at long range, the main goal is to kill the SAM site, and this is best done effectively at short range.

The problem is the kill probability of ARMs is very low, even lower than BVR missiles, since SAMs tend to turn off their radars and disappear. So the longer the range you engage a SAM site, the greater the chance for the SAM to initiate countermeasures.

It has always been a good idea to kill SAMs at short range, which is actually the point of having stealth in the first place. And with the Hammer, you get a very short reaction time and a near-100% kill ratio.

Most countries are working on ARMs right now, including India, because most air forces do not have stealth aircraft. The F-22 does not use HARMs for SEAD/DEAD, it uses SDB I, and the Hammer is far, far more advanced than the SDB I since the Hammer is powered and has a seeker. Basically, what I'm saying is with 5th gen capability, you do not need the low success capabilities like long range ARMs.

Rafale has stealthy capabilities and its Hammer does the same job as the SDB does for the F-22.

Currently, only the F-22, F-35 and Rafale are capable of performing SEAD/DEAD at short range. And right now, because of the Hammer, only the Rafale is capable of performing SEAD/DEAD at the shortest range in certain cases. It's because the Rafale can fire the Hammer without line of sight, whereas the F-22's and F-35's SDBs require line of sight. The Hammer acts as a missile and can climb obstacles using its own power, so the Rafale can fire at a SAM site while hiding. The SPEAR 3 will give the F-35 Hammer-like capabilities in the long run.


SAAW is gonna be upgraded with a seeker and a rocket motor over the next few years. It will be our equivalent of both the StormBreaker and SPEAR 3. Currently, it's like SDB I.

The same is likely to happen with many other PGMs of varying weights.
I have seen your good profound comments. However, the use of the F-22 is primarily air dominance combat, not SEAD operations. Future US SEAD's flagships are the F-35 and Growler, still using ARM and decoys (like MALD). Additional drones will assist them. Recently, the U.S. has integrated the latest ARM AARGM-ER into the Air Force and Navy F-35A and C. AARGM-ER has largely solved the problem of losing targets when the enemy air defense system turns off the radar, which was a problem with the existing ARM, and the probability of destruction is very high, and the range is further increased. Stealth ability will no longer be a special tool in the future due to the development of air defense nets and passive radars. For this reason, the US maintains its SEAD tactics of "perceive from a distance and strike from a distance" in the future. I think Sphere 3 and SDB are just the second tactic. They still want to hit from afar.
message-editor_1516823855630-aargm-er-bay.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: AbRaj

lcafanboy

Senior member
Dec 22, 2017
1,645
1,551
Bangalore

THE FRENCH MINISTRY OF THE ARMED FORCES ORDERS 367 MICA NG (NEW GENERATION) MISSILES
Twitter​

At a weekly press briefing on Thursday 18 March, a spokesperson for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces highlighted the order placed for 367 MICA NG next-generation interception, combat and self-defence missiles.
• MICA NG: addressing the evolution of adverse threats, protecting national territory, acquiring and maintaining air superiority.
The order – welcomed by the Armed Forces Minister and notified to MBDA by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) on 5 March – provides for the delivery of 367 MICA NGs between 2028 and 2031.
Under the programme, implemented as part of the 2019-2025 military programming law, a total of 567 MICA NGs are planned. This figure includes 200 already ordered from MBDA by the DGA at the end of 2018, for delivery from 2026 onwards. The MICA NGs will upgrade the medium-range interception, close combat and self-protection capabilities of French Air Force and Navy Rafales.
This order further consolidates France’s defence technological and industrial base by securing the employment of 200 to 300 people over a five-year period at MBDA and its subcontractors; in total, the MICA NG programme represents an investment of around 1.8 billion euros.
To learn more about MICA missile : click here
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
10,129
7,740
India
I have seen your good profound comments. However, the use of the F-22 is primarily air dominance combat, not SEAD operations. Future US SEAD's flagships are the F-35 and Growler, still using ARM and decoys (like MALD). Additional drones will assist them. Recently, the U.S. has integrated the latest ARM AARGM-ER into the Air Force and Navy F-35A and C. AARGM-ER has largely solved the problem of losing targets when the enemy air defense system turns off the radar, which was a problem with the existing ARM, and the probability of destruction is very high, and the range is further increased. Stealth ability will no longer be a special tool in the future due to the development of air defense nets and passive radars. For this reason, the US maintains its SEAD tactics of "perceive from a distance and strike from a distance" in the future. I think Sphere 3 and SDB are just the second tactic. They still want to hit from afar.
View attachment 19618

In a second, companion story titled ‘A God’s Eye View of the Battlefield’, Hostage is also quoted as saying that:
“If you can get in close, you don’t need Growler-type power [for jamming.] If you’re stealthy enough that they can’t do anything about it and you can get in close, it doesn’t take a huge amount of power to have the effect you need to have,” he says.

Right now, the main SEAD/DEAD fighter jet of the USAF is the F-22. And with the arrival of the F-35, the Growler will no longer be needed.
“Our role is to kick down the door,” 1st Fighter Wing commander, Col. Pete Fesler—a veteran F-22 Raptor pilot—told me during a visit to Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

Kick down the door = SEAD/DEAD.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Killbot and yeloblu

Bon Plan

Well-Known member
Dec 1, 2017
1,856
832
France

THE FRENCH MINISTRY OF THE ARMED FORCES ORDERS 367 MICA NG (NEW GENERATION) MISSILES​

Twitter​

At a weekly press briefing on Thursday 18 March, a spokesperson for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces highlighted the order placed for 367 MICA NG next-generation interception, combat and self-defence missiles.
• MICA NG: addressing the evolution of adverse threats, protecting national territory, acquiring and maintaining air superiority.
The order – welcomed by the Armed Forces Minister and notified to MBDA by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) on 5 March – provides for the delivery of 367 MICA NGs between 2028 and 2031.
Under the programme, implemented as part of the 2019-2025 military programming law, a total of 567 MICA NGs are planned. This figure includes 200 already ordered from MBDA by the DGA at the end of 2018, for delivery from 2026 onwards. The MICA NGs will upgrade the medium-range interception, close combat and self-protection capabilities of French Air Force and Navy Rafales.
This order further consolidates France’s defence technological and industrial base by securing the employment of 200 to 300 people over a five-year period at MBDA and its subcontractors; in total, the MICA NG programme represents an investment of around 1.8 billion euros.
To learn more about MICA missile : click here
It is the second batch of MICA NG ordered by France air forces.
First one was for 200 units if I remember well.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,071
2,579
72
France
transition.wifeo.com

Rafale may have edge in Ukraine fighter stakes

Dossier said to be at top of the agenda of French President Emmanuel Macron's upcoming visit to Ukraine

The message was heard loud and clear in Washington and Paris — Ukraine is shopping for new fighter jets.

Intelligence Online‘s sources say Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government has secretly been putting out feelers for one of the most strategic European defense contracts, the replacement of Ukraine’s aging Soviet-era fighter jet fleet.

The dossier is said to be at the top of the agenda of French President Emmanuel Macron’s upcoming visit to Ukraine, which will probably be pushed back from its initial end of March slot.

The French government reckons that the state-of-the-art Dassault-built Rafale has every chance of winning the tender in the former Russian industry bastion, thanks to having a significant commercial apparatus already in place, Intelligence Online reported.

Since Ukraine is cash-strapped, the Rafale deal, like other French defence contracts in Ukraine, would be 85% guaranteed by France. The French finance ministry has already earmarked €1.5 billion to cover this.

Kiev is hesitating between light fighters, like the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, or a heavier, multi-role fighter, such as Dassault’s Rafale and Boeing’s tried and true FA-18 Super Hornet.

Kiev is hesitating between light fighters, in which case the F-16 would be the favorite, or heavier multi-role fighters, which would open the competition to Dassault’s Rafale and Boeing’s FA-18, Intelligence Online reported.

Without question, the US will not want to miss out on the opportunity to have American fighter jets on Russia’s doorstep, which would be a major blow for the Kremlin of Vladimir Putin.

Look to see the FA-18 presented to the Ukrainian authorities in the near future, as the Biden administration looks to beef up its support to Kiev.

Congress is already providing generous defense and security aid to Ukraine, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, which the country today would struggle to manage without, Intelligence Online reported.

Washington also provides other forms of assistance to the Ukrainian defence industry, with a number of US officials seconded to defence ministry entities such as the defence conglomerate Ukroboronprom.

Meanwhile, French companies have landed an array of contracts in Ukraine since 2014 with the support of the country’s evergreen interior minister Arsen Avakov, Intelligence Online reported

When President Macron pays his upcoming visit to the country, the Franco-Ukrainian defense council will probably make much of the Ukrainian order for 20 FPB 98 light patrol vessels that went to leading shipyard OCEA Group, last year.

At the same time, the French Airbus Group will not wish to draw attention to its contract to supply 55 H225 and H125 helicopters, which has been beset by delivery problems. To date only five helicopters have been delivered.

The Ukrainian fleet officially contains 30-odd MiG-29 and Sukhoi-27. Sources say their sale has yet to be launched.

The fleet is short one less MiG-29 (NATO call sign Fulcrum), after a drunken Ukrainian Air Force officer at the wheel of a a Volkswagen Touran crashed into one last week at Vasylkiv Air Base in central Ukraine, sparking a fire, causing damage to the fighter jet and much embarrassment to the Ukrainian Air Force’s Air Command.

As with previous major defense deals in Morocco, Qatar and elsewhere, the DGSE and CIA’s economic investigators will be keeping a close eye on the contract.

(Note: Asia Times would like to extend a special thanks to Pierre Gastineau at Intelligence Online, which specializes in news about corporate and government intelligence in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.)
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Bon Plan

Dawg-69

Member
Feb 23, 2021
19
20
Finland
One aspect of the Ukraine deal is that the planes are likely to see actual combat. The makers of Gripen might have a problem with this - for political reasons. Same applies to Typhoon: Germany is one partner, and they might have a political problem selling planes to a country that is at war (with Russia).

This is guesswork of course, I am not an expert at geopolitics. But just think of Sweden - they want to promote "feminist foreign policy". Maybe it is a fine idea, but not really compatible with selling weapons. They do have a great industry for a small country, no doubt about that.
 

Bon Plan

Well-Known member
Dec 1, 2017
1,856
832
France

Rafale may have edge in Ukraine fighter stakes

Dossier said to be at top of the agenda of French President Emmanuel Macron's upcoming visit to Ukraine

The message was heard loud and clear in Washington and Paris — Ukraine is shopping for new fighter jets.

Intelligence Online‘s sources say Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government has secretly been putting out feelers for one of the most strategic European defense contracts, the replacement of Ukraine’s aging Soviet-era fighter jet fleet.

The dossier is said to be at the top of the agenda of French President Emmanuel Macron’s upcoming visit to Ukraine, which will probably be pushed back from its initial end of March slot.

The French government reckons that the state-of-the-art Dassault-built Rafale has every chance of winning the tender in the former Russian industry bastion, thanks to having a significant commercial apparatus already in place, Intelligence Online reported.

Since Ukraine is cash-strapped, the Rafale deal, like other French defence contracts in Ukraine, would be 85% guaranteed by France. The French finance ministry has already earmarked €1.5 billion to cover this.

Kiev is hesitating between light fighters, like the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, or a heavier, multi-role fighter, such as Dassault’s Rafale and Boeing’s tried and true FA-18 Super Hornet.

Kiev is hesitating between light fighters, in which case the F-16 would be the favorite, or heavier multi-role fighters, which would open the competition to Dassault’s Rafale and Boeing’s FA-18, Intelligence Online reported.

Without question, the US will not want to miss out on the opportunity to have American fighter jets on Russia’s doorstep, which would be a major blow for the Kremlin of Vladimir Putin.

Look to see the FA-18 presented to the Ukrainian authorities in the near future, as the Biden administration looks to beef up its support to Kiev.

Congress is already providing generous defense and security aid to Ukraine, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, which the country today would struggle to manage without, Intelligence Online reported.

Washington also provides other forms of assistance to the Ukrainian defence industry, with a number of US officials seconded to defence ministry entities such as the defence conglomerate Ukroboronprom.

Meanwhile, French companies have landed an array of contracts in Ukraine since 2014 with the support of the country’s evergreen interior minister Arsen Avakov, Intelligence Online reported

When President Macron pays his upcoming visit to the country, the Franco-Ukrainian defense council will probably make much of the Ukrainian order for 20 FPB 98 light patrol vessels that went to leading shipyard OCEA Group, last year.

At the same time, the French Airbus Group will not wish to draw attention to its contract to supply 55 H225 and H125 helicopters, which has been beset by delivery problems. To date only five helicopters have been delivered.

The Ukrainian fleet officially contains 30-odd MiG-29 and Sukhoi-27. Sources say their sale has yet to be launched.

The fleet is short one less MiG-29 (NATO call sign Fulcrum), after a drunken Ukrainian Air Force officer at the wheel of a a Volkswagen Touran crashed into one last week at Vasylkiv Air Base in central Ukraine, sparking a fire, causing damage to the fighter jet and much embarrassment to the Ukrainian Air Force’s Air Command.

As with previous major defense deals in Morocco, Qatar and elsewhere, the DGSE and CIA’s economic investigators will be keeping a close eye on the contract.

(Note: Asia Times would like to extend a special thanks to Pierre Gastineau at Intelligence Online, which specializes in news about corporate and government intelligence in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.)
Do they really have the money? Are they really keen not to take a small place under the US umbrella ?
One aspect of the Ukraine deal is that the planes are likely to see actual combat. The makers of Gripen might have a problem with this - for political reasons. Same applies to Typhoon: Germany is one partner, and they might have a political problem selling planes to a country that is at war (with Russia).

This is guesswork of course, I am not an expert at geopolitics. But just think of Sweden - they want to promote "feminist foreign policy". Maybe it is a fine idea, but not really compatible with selling weapons. They do have a great industry for a small country, no doubt about that.
Germany has nothing to do with Gripen, except Meteor may be. But in this case all the Eurocanards face the same problem.
 

Dawg-69

Member
Feb 23, 2021
19
20
Finland
Germany has nothing to do with Gripen, except Meteor may be. But in this case all the Eurocanards face the same problem.

I was talking about the Typhoon...! The way I see it, Sweden and Germany are more sensitive than most other European countries regarding this. But like said, this is all guesswork, I could be wrong.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
10,129
7,740
India
I was talking about the Typhoon...! The way I see it, Sweden and Germany are more sensitive than most other European countries regarding this. But like said, this is all guesswork, I could be wrong.

As far as Germany and Sweden are concerned, when it comes to Europe, you can do whatever you want. It's only other countries in other continents who should be peaceful and stuff. They are just two-bit hypocrites. Basically, if you are a white nation, it's all good.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,071
2,579
72
France
transition.wifeo.com

US, European Fighters in Mideast Share ISR Data Well

While potential Rafale deals are likely for some Arab countries, how are the platforms currently in operation at sharing data?

BEIRUT: With potential French Rafale jet sales to Egypt and the UAE in the works, one crucial issue arises, especially in the face of the Iranian threat: can they share data with the American fighters that pervade so much of the region.

Some experts think that data sharing is quite challenging while others don’t see eye to eye.

Bilal Saab, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute and former Pentagon official in charge of Middle Eastern security cooperation, says that the more platforms you operate, the harder integration and interoperability becomes with American systems.

“You can’t have three different platforms within your air power and pretend you want to be interoperable with the United States,” he said, adding that the Qataris have been warned by the U.S that “the more they diversify, the less they will be able to integrate these platforms together.”

However, Egypt has been operating European and American platforms in a coordinated manner since 1980. One main reason, Mahmoud Gamal, Egyptian defense and geopolitics observer explained, is the ease of sharing data through the E-2C Hawkeye, an upgraded model of the American-made tactical airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C).

“The air force relies on its Rafale to link aircraft of different origins since it is equipped with Link-16 tactical data links or non-NATO solutions,” he said, in order “to operate with different platforms and assets.”

As for linking and integrating the whole air force fleet, including Russian aircraft, Egypt relies on its indigenous unified Radar Integration and Surveillance, C4I & C5I Command Control Network.

“The RISC is an integrated locally-made system that jointly undertakes the tasks of battle management, command and control of air defense and air force units as well as gathers, analyzes and shares data,” he explained.

The system, first showcased during Egypt’s International Defense Exhibition (EDEX 2018) in Cairo, includes command-and-control networks equipment including radars, monitoring sensors and flight scheduling tools.

Egypt is also improving its integrated ISR and communication means and launching satellites for military purposes. “Lately, we launched the Tiba-1 satellite serving both the military communications network and armed forces command and control network while facilitating the process of exchanging data for analysis,” Gamal explained.

For military expert and observer Waleed Sami, the concept of a joint and interoperable air force within Gulf states is a must, given the increased threats across the region.

“In the last few years, the UAE started focusing on equipping its F-16 fleet with interoperable systems like the MIDS-LVT/ LINK 16 terminals and associated equipment, helping the air force share information with other types of fighters within the fleet, allied fighters, and command centers,” he said.

“If the UAE gets hold of these jets, the American-European combo would be perfect for operation with their latest airborne early warning and control GlobalEye aircraft from Saab, which also uses the same communication standards,” he added.

This would also result in utilizing the same ammunitions and systems. “The UAE will then be able to use different types of American ammos including GBU-12 and GBU-24 as well as Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) systems on its Rafale fleet.”

For their part, the Saudis rely on their Typhoon and F-15 jets in operational scenarios. Using the same terminals, the Typhoon is fully compatible with existing western platforms in terms of comms and data exchange, an Italian Air Force (ITA) spokesman said. The Italians, of course, operate Typhoons in the Middle East.

“The platform is able to exchange data both with command and control centers/nodes and with other airborne platforms, thus enhancing aircrew situational awareness and increasing mission effectiveness,” the ITA source said.

This high level of integration achieved within the Typhoon Weapon System, they said, further boosts the valuable use of such system through a deep weapon system integration allowing task automation upon message reception, thus a reduced pilot workload and increased mission effectiveness.
To Boeing, customers of the F-15 and F/A-18 have options for encrypted communication link for data sharing and targeting with other aircraft and platforms from different origins.

“Through network-enabled data-fusion and its advanced capabilities, the Block III becomes the airborne leader to direct and coordinate the prosecution of air and surface targets providing complete interoperability with coalition forces,” Bernard Dunn, president Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa told me in an interview.

Potential Rafale Sales

With Egypt operating 24 Rafale jets, Gamal tells Breaking Defense that the country is looking at buying another 12 to 30 fighters.
“On one hand, Egypt is now upgrading its operational fleet to the F3-R standard and wants to double that number,” he said, adding that the deal “could see the light this year.”

The F3-R is an evolution of the Rafale F3 standard and enables both air force and navy aircraft to carry new weapons including MBDA’s Meteor long-range air-to-air missile, Thales’ Talios new-generation laser designator pod and the laser homing version of the Safran AASM air-to-ground modular weapon.

The UAE has yet to determine its replacement for its old Mirage 2000 fleet, while keeping a commitment to the European industry. Although it is still unclear whether the Gulf country is planning to upgrade its current Mirage fleet, sources tell Breaking D that negotiations on the Rafale deal re-surfaced again.

“The Emiratis were very close to sealing the deal years ago, but they turned it down because the price was too high,” said one military source who wished not to be named. “Today, they are potentially considering 36 to 60 units because the jet’s price became more competitive due to the spike of Rafale sales to the region and abroad.”

The UAE could be eying “the F4 version armed with SCALP and Meteor missiles,” he added, a standard that will notably improve the connectivity of the Rafale and its ability to operate as part of a any network.

Is U.S Losing Ground?

Not really, Zafer Alajmi, a retired Kuwaiti Air Force colonel told me.

“The demise of the Trump spring made the Gulf states realize that the new administration will act differently mainly due to the separate views that both administrations share of the balance in the Arab Gulf region,” he said, which in return “pushed the Gulf to look for a parallel market.”

According to him, this is mainly driven by the fact that Arab countries traditionally know their way around European markets: “The historical dimension plays its role here. We didn’t see them reach out to Russia nor China but instead to a market that they well know.”

Saab agrees. “They are so reliant on the U.S for technology — especially state-of-the-art platforms that require all sources of software and maintenance. They are tight to us to the hips,” he told me.

Yet, this is more political than anything else.

“It is as a message to the Americans that they could also purchase from the Europeans, Russians and Chinese if they were disappointed with anything they do politically,” Saab told me. “From a defense viewpoint however, it is more like shooting yourself in the foot. Diversifying makes sense only if there were serious tensions going on, but now that everything looks fine, having such a diverse portfolio remains absurd.”
For the industry, things look pretty fine.

Dunn told me that the Middle East has been and continues to be a very important market to Boeing, with a strong base of platforms and a growing services portfolio. “Boeing is working closely with Arab governments and defense forces to take a key role in enhancing safety and security in the region,” he told Breaking D.

Active competitions are ongoing in Canada, Finland, Switzerland and India for the F/A-18, “that may lead to an additional force of more than 400 Super Hornet Block III jets in operation in Europe and around the world,” Dunn told me.

Future plans for the F-15s call for as many as 144 aircraft, with deliveries to Qatar scheduled for 2022. The Gulf country and U.S government signed a letter of agreement to receive 36 Advanced F-15 Eagle attack aircraft and all their support elements.
 

Bon Plan

Well-Known member
Dec 1, 2017
1,856
832
France
"Crucial F-35 Combat Test Risks a Delay to 2022, Five Years Late"

Thoughts, opinions?

Could it be so that the F-35 will never come out of IOT&E?

I personally think it is now game over for the F-35 in Finland's HX. Decision in Finland will be made towards the end of 2021. I can't see how they could possible choose a prototype.

The US will never admit it officialy, but it's possible that the whole system will never work properly. Too big software, badly studied, made by too many teams without the proper dev rules....