Rafale RB of Indian Air Force : News and Discussions

A Person

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So IRST been under testing on f4.1 will be upgraded in f5 version. I do remember Rafale guys used to argue ( in a foreign forum, from our western neighborhood ) that Rafale's TV camera is so superior than the IRST and the bird doesnt need any such systems.
The reasoning why OSF-IT lost the IRST that the first generation OSF had was due to budget (and political*) constraints, and the Rafale was designed to be able to user the on-wing MICA IR's heads as backup IRST so it was easier to justify ditching the IR part of the OST than the TV side. It's not so much "doesn't need" as "can do without if it must". A return of the IR side was always planned.

* The first generation OSF had been a compromise between France's two main electronic companies, Thomson-CSF (now Thales) and Sagem (now part of Safran). Thomson got the TV part and Sagem got the IR side. This allowed to preserve jobs and skills in both companies, but had the drawback of making things more expensive. That's why OSF-IT was contracted only to Thomson. In 2012, Thales and Safran created a joint-venture (called Optrolead) so now it's a single company that does both sides of the OSF.
 

Tatvamasi

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You didn't say it but you are always trying to put France down.
Why don't you grow up? Criticism does not mean I am putting France down. I have defended Rafale enough when no one wanted it (Which is most of its lifetime).

Instead of putting words into my mouth why don't you come up with a reasonable argument against my point.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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Why don't you grow up? Criticism does not mean I am putting France down. I have defended Rafale enough when no one wanted it (Which is most of its lifetime).

Instead of putting words into my mouth why don't you come up with a reasonable argument against my point.
I don't need to defend the Rafale, it will defend itself and prove that your allegations are false in a brilliant way. I don't need to attack the F-35, it is sinking by itself.
 

randomradio

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That's cute. How many fresh orders from a country that has the option to buy F-35?

Greece right now. To a certain extent, Croatia as well.

Finland and Switzerland could be the litmus test for the Rafale, since both are aiming for the F4.2, and both currently operate American jets, so it's a tough hill to climb for the Rafale. While domestic politics is playing a hand in the Swiss deal in favour of the Rafale, the Finnish deal is much more impartial, and even favours the US. So a victory of the Rafale in Finland will be a massive achievement, and will establish the Rafale's superiority in the roles the Finnish want it to perform. A victory in Switzerland would mean that either Rafale or F-35 has a fair chance of winning in more or less fair conditions, at least we will know which jet is cheaper, but for observers, it's not as important as Finland.

The next major litmus test could be from Spain, where Rafale would be playing from the bottom once again.

The French make better jets, but for most of the countries in Europe and East Asia, the Americans are a better security partner. So it's only possible for fair competitions in mostly neutral countries.
 

A Person

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Greece right now. To a certain extent, Croatia as well.
The F-35 wasn't on offer to them, only the F-16. Obviously, while the country is in NATO and therefore the US should not have a political objection, they didn't want to offer the F-35, for whatever reason. I notice that the F-35 is only offered to countries that operate "teen series" fighters (F-16, F-15, or F/A-18); Croatia is currently a MiG-21 operator. The Americans have sometimes marketed (notably to India) the F-16 as being "the gateway" to the F-35, saying in essence that if you want to fly the F-35, you first need to buy the F-16.

So, so far, Greece is the only country to which the F-35 is offered that has bought the Rafale. I will restrict myself to what has been officially announced, and will not presume of the outcome of the Swiss and Finnish evaluations.

The next major litmus test could be from Spain, where Rafale would be playing from the bottom once again.
Spain is a Eurofighter country. It'd largely make more sense to buy more Eurofighters; buying something else would require acknowledging that the Typhoon is not a suitable replacement to the F/A-18 in air-to-ground roles. The other thing is that Spain is also a Harrier operator, with its STOVL aircraft carrier Juan Carlos. The Rafale doesn't have a STOVL version. The options there are the F-35B, or converting the Juan Carlos to a simple helicopter carrier role. For these reasons, I don't see Spain as a potential prospect.
 
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randomradio

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The F-35 wasn't on offer to them, only the F-16. Obviously, while the country is in NATO and therefore the US should not have a political objection, they didn't want to offer the F-35, for whatever reason. I notice that the F-35 is only offered to countries that operate "teen series" fighters (F-16, F-15, or F/A-18); Croatia is currently a MiG-21 operator. The Americans have sometimes marketed (notably to India) the F-16 as being "the gateway" to the F-35, saying in essence that if you want to fly the F-35, you first need to buy the F-16.

So, so far, Greece is the only country to which the F-35 is offered that has bought the Rafale. I will restrict myself to what has been officially announced, and will not presume of the outcome of the Swiss and Finnish evaluations.

Croatia had originally expressed an interest in the F-35 though. But yeah, it's not like Greece.

Spain is a Eurofighter country. It'd largely make more sense to buy more Eurofighters; buying something else would require acknowledging that the Typhoon is not a suitable replacement to the F/A-18 in air-to-ground roles. The other thing is that Spain is also a Harrier operator, with its STOVL aircraft carrier Juan Carlos. The Rafale doesn't have a STOVL version. The options there are the F-35B, or converting the Juan Carlos to a simple helicopter carrier role. For these reasons, I don't see Spain as a potential prospect.

If Algeria gets their hands on the Su-57, I doubt the Spanish will be happy with the Typhoon.

And the navy's requirement of operating the F-35B doesn't really have to conflict with the air force. They each operate the Harrier and Hornet, and I'm sure the Spanish can make room for a squadron of F-35Bs separately, in case they do end up chasing after carrier aviation. Point being, Spain's a traditional non-French market, so it's going to be a significant uphill battle for the Rafale. But I do think the French govt can impress upon the Spanish to at least give up on the F-35As like they did with Germany, especially with the FCAS going on in parallel. So in a potential Typhoon vs Rafale contest for the Spanish AF, the Rafale may gain some advantage, even if it's only for 1 squadron.
 

A Person

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Point being, Spain's a traditional non-French market
Not really. Spain has traditionally dual sourced American and European aircraft. And before they jumped onboard the Eurofighter programme, their European source was France. They flew on Mirage III and Mirage F1.
 

randomradio

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Not really. Spain has traditionally dual sourced American and European aircraft. And before they jumped onboard the Eurofighter programme, their European source was France. They flew on Mirage III and Mirage F1.

That's too far back to make a dent today though. It's like the Indian reliance on British tech since forever. We dual sourced from Russia and Britain, but the tradition broke in the 80s.
 

A Person

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Too far back, too far back, they flew the Mirage F1 until 2013. And outside of jet fighters, the Ejercito del Aire is currently flying Falcon 20, Falcon 900, and Aérospatiale Super Puma and Cougar copters.
 
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randomradio

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Too far back, too far back, they flew the Mirage F1 until 2013. And outside of jet fighters, the Ejercito del Aire is currently flying Falcon 20, Falcon 900, and Aérospatiale Super Puma and Cougar copters.

That's different. I'm talking about when they bought it, because then even we are flying Jaguars today. Obviously not referring to anything but fighter jets. We are flying Hawks.

Your last major fighter contract with Spain was probably in the 70s or the 80s, dunno when, but that's 40-50 years ago. 2 generations have passed since then.

With fighter jets, you are talking to and operating with a whole different set of people at a very intimate level, especially those who frequently end up climbing to the top leadership levels within the air force. And you get very high priority within the govt. You also get more importance from the local industry. And so on. You've lost all that with Spain.

You can imagine the bond IAF and ADLA Rafale pilots will share right now, since they will know most of each other's secrets. But even just 20 years down the line, the dynamics will change since many of those same pilots will move up the ranks and start operating in FCAS and AMCA squadrons, and all the secrecy will come back again. Things change too much in just 1 generation, let alone 2.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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So, so far, Greece is the only country to which the F-35 is offered that has bought the Rafale. I will restrict myself to what has been officially announced, and will not presume of the outcome of the Swiss and Finnish evaluations.
There are some who are more optimistic than me:

Summary
  • Already ordered: France (192), Egypt (54) , Qatar (36), India (36), Greece (18), Croatia (12) Total 348 of which 324 are new.
  • Very likely orders: 132 to 154 including France (30), Indonesia (36 to 48), Switzerland (30 to 40), India (36)
  • Potential sales: 433 of which Finland (64), UAE (60), Qatar (36), Malaysia (24), India (128), Peru (12), Iraq (36), Egypt (46), France (27)
  • Total potential new aircraft: 911
 
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Tatvamasi

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180 from France, and soon 30/40 from Switzerland and about 50 from Finland, and the Greeks took 18 and are discussing with lockmar for F-35
Why not add Indonesia, Malaysia, and cayman islands too.

In the Greek order, 12 of them are used. Basically, they don't have enough money. If there was a 'used' F-35 option I bet they would choose it over a heartbeat.

Yet, after a confirmed order of 2000+ F-35 is failing itself. :LOL:
 
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Herciv

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In the Greek order, 12 of them are used. Basically, they don't have enough money. If there was a 'used' F-35 option I bet they would choose it over a heartbeat.
Then two conclusion :
- Used french rafales are well adapted for countries without money (;)) and no other fighter than rafale before at least ten years can be offer so.
- Urgent needs is also a good consideration to take into account in the Greek case
and cayman islands too
Yes why not but I think Austria could be a next surprise.
 

randomradio

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Why not add Indonesia, Malaysia, and cayman islands too.

In the Greek order, 12 of them are used. Basically, they don't have enough money. If there was a 'used' F-35 option I bet they would choose it over a heartbeat.

Yet, after a confirmed order of 2000+ F-35 is failing itself. :LOL:

Due to the size of the program, 2000+ jets isn't enough. They haven't managed to control costs even with 600+ jets produced to date.

There's also the length of the program. In order to sustain the F-35, LM needs to make 200 jets a year, which is only a 15-year production run for an estimated 3000 F-35s. But for the Rafale to sustain itself, it only needs a production line of 11/year, and with an estimated 900 jets, that's an 80-year production run.

So, even with 2400+ orderbook, the Pentagon is threatening to cut orders since LM isn't able to control the costs, which is a major failing of the program.

And this is without even considering that the R&D process for FOC is still not complete, which is actually a bigger problem than the cost.
 

Bon Plan

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Why not add Indonesia, Malaysia, and cayman islands too.

In the Greek order, 12 of them are used. Basically, they don't have enough money. If there was a 'used' F-35 option I bet they would choose it over a heartbeat.

Yet, after a confirmed order of 2000+ F-35 is failing itself. :LOL:
The 12 second hand Rafale are there only because Greece wants a fast delivery. It's not a price problem.

2000+ F35 ? to be seen... The purchase wave seems to be OFF.
The bird is now incredibly late on schedule. This bird will be at max an average one.