MMRCA 2.0 - Updates and Discussions

What is your favorite for MMRCA 2.0 ?

  • JSF F-35 Blk 4

    Votes: 24 11.9%
  • Rafale F4

    Votes: 159 78.7%
  • Eurofighter Typhoon T3

    Votes: 3 1.5%
  • Gripen E/F

    Votes: 6 3.0%
  • F-16 B70

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • SH F-18

    Votes: 9 4.5%
  • F-15EX

    Votes: 2 1.0%

  • Total voters
    202

Picdelamirand-oil

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,653
3,003
73
France
transition.wifeo.com
La DGA réalise la première campagne d’essais du Rafale au standard F4-1

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

The DGA conducts the first Rafale test campaign using the F4-1 standard


From April 26 to 29, 2021, the French defense procurement agency (DGA) carried out the first Rafale F4-1 standard test campaign at Istres, under the responsibility of the DGA flight test center. Currently under development, the F4 standard will notably bring the helmet-mounted sight capability, integrate the Mica NG and the 1,000 kg AASM bomb. It will also bring the Rafale into the era of collaborative air combat.

Eight complex missions representing 50 aircraft sorties were carried out by test crews from the French defense procurement agency (DGA), the French Navy, the French Air Force and Dassault Aviation. They have enabled the insertion of two Rafales in the current state of development of the F4-1 standard within a large-scale air system, with up to eight aircraft in the combat zone for tactical phases, as well as in-flight refueling slots. The Rafale F4.1 was tested in a realistic technical and operational environment: the crews, equipped with SCORPION helmet-mounted sights, were able to use the new collaborative combat functions, in particular the precise location of other aircraft by passive means within a patrol.

This RAU campaign mobilized numerous Ministry of Defense air assets: 8 Rafales, including 2 Rafale Marine, 2 Mirage 2000 and 2 Alphajet, plus the daily availability of the Mediterranean training area by the Navy, and major ground assets from DGA Flight Tests: specific air traffic control tests, listening rooms and trajectory systems. Contributors from Dassault Aviation, Thales and MBDA were also on hand to monitor test flights in real time, provide expertise and receive live feedback from crews, which can help guide ongoing developments.

The next RAU campaign for the Rafale F4-1 will also focus on evaluating the capabilities of this new standard for air-to-surface missions. It will once again be organized by the DGA flight test teams with the support of the Forces from the 125 Charles Monnier air base in Istres.


If the DGA has begun tests, it is because the manufacturer (Dassault) has finished its own. (y)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: randomradio

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
12,023
9,173
India

STEPHEN COHEN

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
6,714
4,180
Possibly waiting for the F4.2 as well.

Media reports claimed Indonesia will "purchase the jets between 2021 and 2024". This could easily mean the contract will be signed anytime during this period.

If every country wants F4.1 version
The waiting list will be too long

And since F 3 version orders are coming to an end , Dassault will make the New Jets in France

Indian line is irrelevant , even if they are produced here , IAF will have to wait for its F 4
 
Last edited:

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
12,023
9,173
India
If every country wants F4.1 version
The waiting list will be too long

And since F 3 version orders are coming to an end , Dassault will make the New Jets in France

Indian line is irrelevant , even if they are priduced here , IAF will have to wait

The IAF's demand of 12 jets a year isn't excessive.
 

Bon Plan

Well-Known member
Dec 1, 2017
2,068
899
France
SPECTRA ACTIVE CANCELATION "ON" :

:alien::alien::alien:
Rafale.jpg
 

Dawg-69

Member
Feb 23, 2021
116
54
Finland
Here is a brand new video from Finnish Defence Forces.

Quite a nice video. But... at 2.26 we see a Rafale.

Is it an "easter egg", meaning something hidden in the video with a purpose? Why else would it be there? Shall I start eating snails now?

 

A Person

Well-Known member
Dec 1, 2017
826
818
A Place
To be honest, I doubt the HX contest winner is decided yet. If it was a Swiss video, then maybe -- the outcome of Air2030 should be announced on June 30, I believe -- but for Finland AFAIK the announcement will be at the end of the year.

That said, the Rafale is IMO the best choice. Yes, I'm obviously biased. But if you look at the history of its sales, all its customers have been countries that need a capable combat aircraft quickly. And they're satisfied customers: Egypt and Qatar have had repeat orders, Greece is talking about purchasing another batch ASAP.

The other contestants? The Eurofighter is obsolete and overpriced, being plagued by the whole design-by-committee factor that's gonna kill the FCAS: to modernize it, you need to get all countries to sign, and they have different requirements so they don't agree with the proposal, so things get negotiated and renegotiated to death until it's just not worth doing anymore. Typhoon tranche 1 have already been sent to the scrapyard instead of being upgraded, that should tell you enough about how doomed that poor bird is.

The Gripen E is a better prospect than the Typhoon, however it suffers from lack of maturity. Its development blew through deadlines (that's what got it kicked out of Air2030) and it turns out the aircraft is not going to be as cheap as hyped. Which is a problem when the whole point of the aircraft was that it was offering all the capabilities of modern fighter jets but for more cheaper than the competition; turns out it's not going to be actually much cheaper. Guess that magic isn't real, and capabilities have a cost.

Then there's the American options. The F-35 suffers from the same problems as the Gripen (not ready yet, not actually cheap) but in addition it is an aircraft designed to closely integrate customers' air force with the USAF. This has been a very efficient selling point in NATO countries -- which Finland isn't. There's also the issue that it was designed to sneakily bomb enemy territory, not to efficiently defend national airspace. So it's perfect if you want to start a war with Russia, but it's not a good bet if you want to defend against a surprise attack from Russia...

Finally, there's the Super Hornet. This one is a serious contender. It's a mature platform, it has a full arsenal integrated, there's a certain continuity with the Hornet that would make transition easier (both for pilots, technicians, and local industries that already have working partnerships with Boeing), and the Growler at least will probably stay in use for a long time in the US Navy, so spare parts should remain cheap.

So, the way I see it, the HX contest is really between the Rafale and the Super Hornet.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
12,023
9,173
India
Here is a brand new video from Finnish Defence Forces.

Quite a nice video. But... at 2.26 we see a Rafale.

Is it an "easter egg", meaning something hidden in the video with a purpose? Why else would it be there? Shall I start eating snails now?


It's probably a subtle hint at what their forces actually want. The final decision is still pending after all.
 

Dawg-69

Member
Feb 23, 2021
116
54
Finland
To be honest, I doubt the HX contest winner is decided yet. If it was a Swiss video, then maybe -- the outcome of Air2030 should be announced on June 30, I believe -- but for Finland AFAIK the announcement will be at the end of the year.



So, the way I see it, the HX contest is really between the Rafale and the Super Hornet.

Well, the winner is not decided, the wargames are not run yet, but maybe they do KNOW still.

You gave a good list of issues with three of the contestants. Typhoon is getting a new radar, and it might be late for Finland. This could kill the deal alone. Gripen might have multiple issues with the timetable, a smaller company doesn't have as much resources to get things done as bigger ones.

So then, just as you said, we have two contestants left. Super Horner is one, Rafale is one.

They now have the data they need to run the wargames. But it could be very simple for them to see, even before the wargames are run. Superbug is an older plane. The Boeing offer was amazing, but... Rafale will be superior in many ways.

So maybe they do KNOW even before the official decision is made.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
12,023
9,173
India
Then there's the American options. The F-35 suffers from the same problems as the Gripen (not ready yet, not actually cheap) but in addition it is an aircraft designed to closely integrate customers' air force with the USAF. This has been a very efficient selling point in NATO countries -- which Finland isn't. There's also the issue that it was designed to sneakily bomb enemy territory, not to efficiently defend national airspace. So it's perfect if you want to start a war with Russia, but it's not a good bet if you want to defend against a surprise attack from Russia...

Finally, there's the Super Hornet. This one is a serious contender. It's a mature platform, it has a full arsenal integrated, there's a certain continuity with the Hornet that would make transition easier (both for pilots, technicians, and local industries that already have working partnerships with Boeing), and the Growler at least will probably stay in use for a long time in the US Navy, so spare parts should remain cheap.

So, the way I see it, the HX contest is really between the Rafale and the Super Hornet.

I doubt there's much of a difference between the F-35 and SH when it comes to performance. The F-35 is the better dog fighter. And I doubt there's much of a difference when it comes to supersonic performance. Both aircraft have similar max speeds and I bet both are dogs at acceleration and climb. With the same fuel fraction, the TWR is more or less the same. The F-35 may beat the SH in AoA performance. And the overall core technologies are superior on the F-35 and will see more lifelong improvements over its service life than the SH will.

Also, the F-35 will come with European weapons in the future, like the Meteor, whereas the SH will likely be stuck with American weapons. I doubt the SH spares will be cheaper than F-35 spares, especially from 2040 onwards.

While I agree with your opinions on the Typhoon and Gripen, the F-35 is still the better bet when it comes to air policing and DCA compared to the SH. The only area the SH shines is in long range strike, which is unlikely to be useful for the Finnish. Let's not forget that the Finnish are looking at something that will give them a 10x kill ratio over the Russians, which is impossible for the SH.

In any fighter jet competition concerning western aircraft, the Rafale's main competitor will be the SH only when the F-35 is not fielded, like India. Or else, it's always gonna be a contest between the Rafale and F-35.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ginvincible

Dawg-69

Member
Feb 23, 2021
116
54
Finland
It's probably a subtle hint at what their forces actually want. The final decision is still pending after all.

Well, "what the forces want" and final decision is basically the same thing at this stage in HX. The military will give their decision to the government, and then the government will buy what they want with 99.9% certainty.

However I am not a prophet, and maybe I was being paranoid about this video. It is just so thoroughly weird to have a Rafale in that video... the context is maybe not apparent to people from other countries. The video was made for the "flag day" of the Finnish Armed Forces. It was supposed to about FINNISH armed forces and not much else.

But: I am not a prophet, maybe I was wrong. We shall see quite soon, as the official decision will be made towards the end of the year.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
12,023
9,173
India
Well, "what the forces want" and final decision is basically the same thing at this stage in HX. The military will give their decision to the government, and then the government will buy what they want with 99.9% certainty.

However I am not a prophet, and maybe I was being paranoid about this video. It is just so thoroughly weird to have a Rafale in that video... the context is maybe not apparent to people from other countries. The video was made for the "flag day" of the Finnish Armed Forces. It was supposed to about FINNISH armed forces and not much else.

But: I am not a prophet, maybe I was wrong. We shall see quite soon, as the official decision will be made towards the end of the year.

It's a civilian decision though. Recall the Swiss AF wanted the Rafale but got stuck with the Gripen instead since the govt decided the Gripen is cheaper?

Even in India, the final call is made by the civilians.
 

A Person

Well-Known member
Dec 1, 2017
826
818
A Place
The video was made for the "flag day" of the Finnish Armed Forces. It was supposed to about FINNISH armed forces and not much else.
Really, the question that matters is who made the video. If it's just some media company contracted for the job, and not the communication service of the armed forces themselves, then the most likely explanation is "some intern made a mistake". If on the other hand, it was made "in-house" by the military, then a mistake is less likely -- though obviously still possible.
 

Ginvincible

Well-Known member
Dec 5, 2017
447
473
Ohio
I doubt there's much of a difference between the F-35 and SH when it comes to performance. The F-35 is the better dog fighter. And I doubt there's much of a difference when it comes to supersonic performance. Both aircraft have similar max speeds and I bet both are dogs at acceleration and climb. With the same fuel fraction, the TWR is more or less the same. The F-35 may beat the SH in AoA performance. And the overall core technologies are superior on the F-35 and will see more lifelong improvements over its service life than the SH will.

Also, the F-35 will come with European weapons in the future, like the Meteor, whereas the SH will likely be stuck with American weapons. I doubt the SH spares will be cheaper than F-35 spares, especially from 2040 onwards.

While I agree with your opinions on the Typhoon and Gripen, the F-35 is still the better bet when it comes to air policing and DCA compared to the SH. The only area the SH shines is in long range strike, which is unlikely to be useful for the Finnish. Let's not forget that the Finnish are looking at something that will give them a 10x kill ratio over the Russians, which is impossible for the SH.

In any fighter jet competition concerning western aircraft, the Rafale's main competitor will be the SH only when the F-35 is not fielded, like India. Or else, it's always gonna be a contest between the Rafale and F-35.
I think the costs for air interdiction and maintenance might detract from the F-35s case with respect to the SH. Scrambling F-35s to intercept Bears that get too close might end up being way more expensive in the long run than one of the 4th gen fighter options. The Finns are also replacing standard F-18s so perhaps the SH would just be easier to transition to?

I'm not sure if the Finns will place heavy weight on access to European weapons. They are currently only using AIM 120/9 variants anyway.
 

Akhlys

Member
May 14, 2021
53
38
Norway
Scrambling F-35s to intercept Bears that get too close might end up being way more expensive in the long run than one of the 4th gen fighter options.

It's been judged an acceptable cost.



European F-35 operators aren't likely going to be bothered by operating costs associated with the F-35 (given they're comparable to other 4+/4.5 gen fighters) as most are wealthy nations with relatively small defence burdens or costs.

I'm not sure if the Finns will place heavy weight on access to European weapons.

They wont. Finland's primary aircraft armament, bombs to missiles, are American in origin and they've sizable stocks of these weapons. Yes, they can and have been integrated onto European aircraft, but it lessens Finland's requirement for European-origin munitions compatible airframes.



Germany and the United States are Finland's primary defence suppliers, though much of their equipment is domestic especially on the ground and at sea, but the ilmavoimat is largely supplied by the United States almost exclusively.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ginvincible

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
12,023
9,173
India
I think the costs for air interdiction and maintenance might detract from the F-35s case with respect to the SH. Scrambling F-35s to intercept Bears that get too close might end up being way more expensive in the long run than one of the 4th gen fighter options. The Finns are also replacing standard F-18s so perhaps the SH would just be easier to transition to?

I'm not sure if the Finns will place heavy weight on access to European weapons. They are currently only using AIM 120/9 variants anyway.

In terms of sustainment costs, the SH will comfortably beat the F-35 as long as the USN continues to operate the jet. With the new engine, it's apparently even cheaper than the F-16 now in terms of CPFH. But with the USN developing the NGAD in a hurry to counter the PLAN, people are expecting the SH will be phased out much sooner than planned, and in large numbers, beginning in the early 2030s. Only 36 USN SHs are of the latest standards, all others will only receive upgrades. Which means Finland will become the largest operator after a point, not a good position to be in.

The Finns have two requirements, what you stated, and the other main requirement is they need the ability to inflict a 10:1 kill ratio over the Russian AF. It's impossible for the SH to deliver the latter.

Then there's safety, twin engines are simply safer to operate in their icy environment. So that's the only actual operational advantage for the SH over the F-35.

Honestly, Finnish Hornets were delivered between 1995 and 2000. What would make more sense is for them to upgrade whatever they can right now and wait for the USN-NGAD. They can then simply upgrade to that straightaway from 2032 or so onwards and have a more capable fighter jet in the post-2035 world, when Russia would become an actual threat to NATO. It's too late now, but that should have been their main option. The Europeans are underestimating the Russians and will pay for it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ginvincible