Rafale RB of Indian Air Force : News and Discussions

vstol Jockey

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The basis you are assuming is of numbers based on earlier calculations of 42. There is a reason why the IAF is scrambling to ramp up numbers by getting in second hand jets. Not just numbers but also availability. I believe, there is/will be a clamour within the IAF to increase squadron strength to approx 52. @vstol Jockey would be interesting to hear your insight on this.

In this scenario, I don't think we will have too many options. The IAF does not want American fighters. Tejas will come in. Mk2 whenever it is ready.

AMCA and TEDBF all are still up in the air.

There are only 2 new fighter options. Tejas and Rafale. Rest all, till one sees them on ground....ball talks.
Earlier IAF sqns had just abt 18 aircraft each. And 42 sqns were calculated to be adequate to take care of two front war in 1967. These figures for 42 sqns are from 1967. We also used to have IAAF-Indian Auxillery AirForce which was also known as weekend Airforce. It had seven sqns and was manned by civilian and retired pilots of IAF. These seven sqns were merged with regular IAF to make it a total of 42 sqns. However, Now IAF wanted to increase the sqn strenght to 54 sqns but due to IN taking over security of its areas the strength will remain 42. But IAF did something even more smart. They have now increased the strength of each sqn to 21 aircraft of which 18 will be available online and 3 will be war reserve. This way they got additional 7 sqns.
 

thinkingcap81

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Earlier IAF sqns had just abt 18 aircraft each. And 42 sqns were calculated to be adequate to take care of two front war in 1967. These figures for 42 sqns are from 1967. We also used to have IAAF-Indian Auxillery AirForce which was also known as weekend Airforce. It had seven sqns and was manned by civilian and retired pilots of IAF. These seven sqns were merged with regular IAF to make it a total of 42 sqns. However, Now IAF wanted to increase the sqn strenght to 54 sqns but due to IN taking over security of its areas the strength will remain 42. But IAF did something even more smart. They have now increased the strength of each sqn to 21 aircraft of which 18 will be available online and 3 will be war reserve. This way they got additional 7 sqns.
But we purchased 36 Rafales for 2 squadrons.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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But we purchased 36 Rafales for 2 squadrons.
Because one squadron of 18 aircraft is equivalent to 2.5 squadrons (45 fighters) of Su-30 MKI in terms of turn-around and maintenance. ;)

 
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randomradio

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But we purchased 36 Rafales for 2 squadrons.

Peacetime availability of the MKI at the time was 60%, while the target for Dassault is to get the Rafales to 75% or face penalty. So available jets in an MKI squadron was 12 while Rafale's is 13. Dassault aims to achieve 90%, so that can take it to 16. So the IAF agreed to reduce numbers to save procurement costs.

It's also why the IAF agreed to reduce MRFA and LCA Mk2 numbers to 114 and 118 resply, since 21 jets per squadron were no longer required. Of course, they might end up buying a handful of jets at the end of the production cycle to get to 21, but it's still not necessary. 19 will give us 16+3 reserves.

Because one squadron of 18 aircraft is equivalent to 2.5 squadrons (45 fighters) of Su-30 MKI in terms of turn-around and maintenance. ;)


That doesn't affect peacetime operations.
 

randomradio

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"42 sqns were calculated to be adequate to take care of two front war in 1967..."
It seems to me that it is not peacetime that determines the number of aircraft in a squadron :)

We need a certain number of squadrons due to our geography, which is why I said we need an equal number of squadrons to what we are replacing, regardless of the capability of the replacement. Hence 3 M2000 squadrons = 3 Rafale squadrons for the IAF.

But the strength of a squadron itself follows a different formula. For example, we are operating some Mig-21 squadrons with just 14-15 jets, the rest are not always available. But we are still maintaining 6 squadrons with less jets instead of reorganising the squadrons with an optimum number.

Having a 2.5 times advantage in turnaround time and availability is a huge advantage. But to the IAF, it only means they will do 2.5 times more damage to the enemy compared to an MKI squadron.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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We need a certain number of squadrons due to our geography, which is why I said we need an equal number of squadrons to what we are replacing, regardless of the capability of the replacement. Hence 3 M2000 squadrons = 3 Rafale squadrons for the IAF.

But the strength of a squadron itself follows a different formula. For example, we are operating some Mig-21 squadrons with just 14-15 jets, the rest are not always available. But we are still maintaining 6 squadrons with less jets instead of reorganising the squadrons with an optimum number.

Having a 2.5 times advantage in turnaround time and availability is a huge advantage. But to the IAF, it only means they will do 2.5 times more damage to the enemy compared to an MKI squadron.
There is another effect that is interesting in wartime:

The number of mission hours a squadron is able to generate is a function of the number of maintenance hours it can perform, not a function of the number of aircraft.

For example, the Rafale requires 8 hours of maintenance per flight hour and the SU-30 MKI requires 32 hours of maintenance per flight hour.
The fact that these maintenance hours are applied to one aircraft or another does not change the number of mission hours generated by the squadron.

Of course, it is necessary to be able to carry them out, for example you cannot assign 100 maintenance technicians to an aircraft for 10 minutes.

But since the Rafale needs four times less maintenance time than the SU-30 MKI, it will be possible to increase the maintenance teams per aircraft as attrition occurs, and this in a ratio of four to the SU-30 MKI. This allows the mission volume to be maintained despite attrition.
 

randomradio

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There is another effect that is interesting in wartime:

The number of mission hours a squadron is able to generate is a function of the number of maintenance hours it can perform, not a function of the number of aircraft.

For example, the Rafale requires 8 hours of maintenance per flight hour and the SU-30 MKI requires 32 hours of maintenance per flight hour.
The fact that these maintenance hours are applied to one aircraft or another does not change the number of mission hours generated by the squadron.

Of course, it is necessary to be able to carry them out, for example you cannot assign 100 maintenance technicians to an aircraft for 10 minutes.

But since the Rafale needs four times less maintenance time than the SU-30 MKI, it will be possible to increase the maintenance teams per aircraft as attrition occurs, and this in a ratio of four to the SU-30 MKI. This allows the mission volume to be maintained despite attrition.

Those numbers apply over a long period of time, not in a two-week war.

During wartime, you can use 80+% of the MKI's total strength almost immediately. If given a month or two before war begins, you should be able to use at least 90% or even 95%, if not the entire 100%. It's only subject to the availability of spares and engines, we have plenty of those as wartime reserves.

So, during those two weeks, you can fly either the MKI or the Rafale to the full extent of their capabilities. During this time, the fact that the Rafale can sustain surge sorties for a month won't matter because the war ends in 2 weeks anyway. So this is when turnaround advantage comes into the picture. So if we assume each Rafale can do 5 sorties of 3 hours versus the MKI managing 3 sorties of 3 hours, then the total flight time for each over 2 weeks would be 210 hours and 126 hours. This is a 60% advantage, not 2x or 3x. Rafale's advantages are mainly in the long term.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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Those numbers apply over a long period of time, not in a two-week war.

During wartime, you can use 80+% of the MKI's total strength almost immediately. If given a month or two before war begins, you should be able to use at least 90% or even 95%, if not the entire 100%. It's only subject to the availability of spares and engines, we have plenty of those as wartime reserves.

So, during those two weeks, you can fly either the MKI or the Rafale to the full extent of their capabilities. During this time, the fact that the Rafale can sustain surge sorties for a month won't matter because the war ends in 2 weeks anyway. So this is when turnaround advantage comes into the picture. So if we assume each Rafale can do 5 sorties of 3 hours versus the MKI managing 3 sorties of 3 hours, then the total flight time for each over 2 weeks would be 210 hours and 126 hours. This is a 60% advantage, not 2x or 3x. Rafale's advantages are mainly in the long term.
When you start a war you always think it will be shorter than it is in the end
 

randomradio

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When you start a war you always think it will be shorter than it is in the end

True. But the intensity of the war will be significantly reduced after those two weeks. All air forces will fly significantly less after that, which is why Rafale's other advantages come into play then. But the most dangerous targets and threats will be taken care of by that point. Any that survive will mainly be because aircraft cannot handle them, like mobile HQs and C&C nodes, and will require army action. So it's mostly going to be air defence and CAS by then, with sporadic need for SEAD/DEAD. And all of this is considering the IAF has won the air war.
 

Tatvamasi

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he number of mission hours a squadron is able to generate is a function of the number of maintenance hours it can perform, not a function of the number of aircraft.

For example, the Rafale requires 8 hours of maintenance per flight hour and the SU-30 MKI requires 32 hours of maintenance per flight hour.
The fact that these maintenance hours are applied to one aircraft or another does not change the number of mission hours generated by the squadron.
I smell BS

Can You Smell The Rock GIF by WWE
 

Tatvamasi

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France does not have an imminent threat to its sovereignty. Thus with the increasing cost of multi-role aircraft they can cut down the number of airframe.

If he is any truth to his claims, we should be able to manage the requirement of 126 MMRCA with 36.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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France does not have an imminent threat to its sovereignty. Thus with the increasing cost of multi-role aircraft they can cut down the number of airframe.

If he is any truth to his claims, we should be able to manage the requirement of 126 MMRCA with 36.
Yes but your plane would have to fly 875 hours by years, that is possible with Rafale (Max 1000 h a year) and finally you will have ta change your fleet after 9000/875 = around 10 years only. And in case of war you don't have margin to increase your activities.
 
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Tatvamasi

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Yes but your plane would have to fly 875 hours by years, that is possible with Rafale (Max 1000 h a year) and finally you will have ta change your fleet after 9000/875 = around 10 years only. And in case of war you don't have margin to increase your activities.
Why? 30 other squadrons do not fly?

Explain to me again, if126 MMRCA is supposed to be for a Mirage 2000 class aircraft. Can 3 sqd of Rafale (53) do its job by flying 250 hours per year?
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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Why? 30 other squadrons do not fly?

Explain to me again, if126 MMRCA is supposed to be for a Mirage 2000 class aircraft. Can 3 sqd of Rafale (53) do its job by flying 250 hours per year?
There are several reasons why a Rafale may be considered superior to another aircraft:
  • It may be because of its qualities when it is in the air.
  • It may be because it is in the air more often than other aircraft.
The discussion I had with @randomradio is about the first quality, whereas the question you are asking now is about the second quality.

To answer the latter question, yes, a Rafale is worth 3 Mirage 2000s when asked to do a complex mission where it is heavily loaded and where it will use its omnirole qualities. This is mainly due to the fact that it does not need an escort in its air-to-ground role and yet it carries a heavier load than a Mirage, farther, which also reduces the use of tankers.

For the first question I describe how, in France, the qualities of the Rafale have allowed us to sell second-hand Rafales to Greece and Croatia without any disadvantage to our air force.

The information from our proposals to Finland shows us that in addition to this increase, the Rafale is capable of being used at a much higher rate than that which has been in force up to now: 350 hours over a month and 1000 hours over a year! It is therefore likely that the limit of 250 hours per year is only to spare the potential for a 30-year service life.

And this increase in duration explains why we are suddenly able to offer second-hand Rafales for export.

Under these conditions, 300 hours per year could have been used. But as we did not know, we consumed 250 hours per year!

We therefore have a "reserve" of hours that we have saved, which I will calculate approximately.

We produced operational aircraft for the air force from 2006 to 2016 (only 1 aircraft in 2017, I neglect), that is 10 years, and we had 106 aircraft for the air force (and space). During this time we have flown 10*106 * 250/2 = 132500 h to which we must add the last four years, i.e. 4*106*250 = 106000 h, i.e. 238500 h in total (at the end of 2020).

We have saved 1/5 of this amount, i.e. 47500 hours.

This reserve allows us to ensure the transition to export withdrawals.

This transition would take place over 10 years: 4 years to wait for the production of the new aircraft during which the remaining aircraft must consume more than their normal annual potential. 2 neutral years during which the new aircraft provide the additional hours to compensate for the levies and 4 years during which the new aircraft reimburse the hours that have been lost, thus allowing the old aircraft to consume less than their normal annual potential.

The air force will be left with 106 - 24 = 82 aircraft which will have to provide 106 *250 = 26500h or 323 h per aircraft. During the production of the 24 new aircraft the objective is to compensate the flight hours of the aircraft sold second hand with the new aircraft in production. As there will be an average of 12 new aircraft over this two-year period, they will have to be flown 500 hours per year. Then the 24 new planes will pay back the overconsumption of the 82 old planes by flying another 4 years at 500 hours per year. In the end, the old planes will have consumed the same number of hours as if there had been no second-hand sale, and the new planes will have consumed between 3000 and 2000 hours depending on their production rank, i.e. 2500 hours on average, whereas the planes sold would have consumed 1500 hours during the same period.

With the sale to Greece we will lose 7000*12 = 84000 h of potential and with the sale to Croatia we will lose 4500 *12 = 54000 h. We must therefore buy back 15 planes at 9000 h of potential, but I hope that we will buy back 24 if only to ensure the load at Dassault.

All this certainly means that we will be able to maintain the qualification of all our pilots despite the constraints imposed by OPEX.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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Please replace
  • It may be because of its qualities when it is in the air.
  • It may be because it is in the air more often than other aircraft.
By
  • It may be because it is in the air more often than other aircraft.
  • It may be because of its qualities when it is in the air.
🙃
 

randomradio

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Why? 30 other squadrons do not fly?

Explain to me again, if126 MMRCA is supposed to be for a Mirage 2000 class aircraft. Can 3 sqd of Rafale (53) do its job by flying 250 hours per year?

Let's bring in both ground and air in terms of flying time and payload.

It depends on the mission. If it's an air defence mission, then the Rafale is only better by about 30% in terms of flying time. Both aircraft can generate pretty much the same sortie rate, and payload, but the M2000 flies an hour less. If it's a strike role, the Rafale is at least 250-300% better in terms of payload and flying time because you need 2.5-3x more M2000s for the same payload and it flies an hour less anyway.

Compared to the MKI, it depends on the mission and payload. If the aircraft is expected to carry a large bomb load for carpet bombing, then the MKI is better. It will be able to carry at least 24 SAAWs for example, compared to just 8 on the Rafale. You need at least 3 Rafales to compare with 1 MKI. But that's a stupid payload, and will probably be used in very few missions, if any at all. 16 is a more realistic number, but you will still need 2 Rafales for 1 MKI.

However with more common operational payloads for any mission, the Rafale can take to the air more often, to the point where we need 2.5 MKI squadrons to match 1 Rafale squadron. Even after MKI's MLU, with the addition of drop tanks that will allow it to match the Rafale's endurance, it will only reduce that number by 0.5. Those 36 Rafales are easily equal to 80-100 MKIs due to maintenance and turnaround alone, and this is without counting actual combat capability. Bring in combat capability and the difference increases even further.
 

Tatvamasi

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Jan 5, 2018
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There are several reasons why a Rafale may be considered superior to another aircraft:
  • It may be because of its qualities when it is in the air.
  • It may be because it is in the air more often than other aircraft.
The discussion I had with @randomradio is about the first quality, whereas the question you are asking now is about the second quality.

To answer the latter question, yes, a Rafale is worth 3 Mirage 2000s when asked to do a complex mission where it is heavily loaded and where it will use its omnirole qualities. This is mainly due to the fact that it does not need an escort in its air-to-ground role and yet it carries a heavier load than a Mirage, farther, which also reduces the use of tankers.

For the first question I describe how, in France, the qualities of the Rafale have allowed us to sell second-hand Rafales to Greece and Croatia without any disadvantage to our air force.

The information from our proposals to Finland shows us that in addition to this increase, the Rafale is capable of being used at a much higher rate than that which has been in force up to now: 350 hours over a month and 1000 hours over a year! It is therefore likely that the limit of 250 hours per year is only to spare the potential for a 30-year service life.

And this increase in duration explains why we are suddenly able to offer second-hand Rafales for export.

Under these conditions, 300 hours per year could have been used. But as we did not know, we consumed 250 hours per year!

We therefore have a "reserve" of hours that we have saved, which I will calculate approximately.

We produced operational aircraft for the air force from 2006 to 2016 (only 1 aircraft in 2017, I neglect), that is 10 years, and we had 106 aircraft for the air force (and space). During this time we have flown 10*106 * 250/2 = 132500 h to which we must add the last four years, i.e. 4*106*250 = 106000 h, i.e. 238500 h in total (at the end of 2020).

We have saved 1/5 of this amount, i.e. 47500 hours.

This reserve allows us to ensure the transition to export withdrawals.

This transition would take place over 10 years: 4 years to wait for the production of the new aircraft during which the remaining aircraft must consume more than their normal annual potential. 2 neutral years during which the new aircraft provide the additional hours to compensate for the levies and 4 years during which the new aircraft reimburse the hours that have been lost, thus allowing the old aircraft to consume less than their normal annual potential.

The air force will be left with 106 - 24 = 82 aircraft which will have to provide 106 *250 = 26500h or 323 h per aircraft. During the production of the 24 new aircraft the objective is to compensate the flight hours of the aircraft sold second hand with the new aircraft in production. As there will be an average of 12 new aircraft over this two-year period, they will have to be flown 500 hours per year. Then the 24 new planes will pay back the overconsumption of the 82 old planes by flying another 4 years at 500 hours per year. In the end, the old planes will have consumed the same number of hours as if there had been no second-hand sale, and the new planes will have consumed between 3000 and 2000 hours depending on their production rank, i.e. 2500 hours on average, whereas the planes sold would have consumed 1500 hours during the same period.

With the sale to Greece we will lose 7000*12 = 84000 h of potential and with the sale to Croatia we will lose 4500 *12 = 54000 h. We must therefore buy back 15 planes at 9000 h of potential, but I hope that we will buy back 24 if only to ensure the load at Dassault.

All this certainly means that we will be able to maintain the qualification of all our pilots despite the constraints imposed by OPEX.
Im not asking you if rafale is superior. Its obviously because it appeared three-decade later to replace Mirage. Im asking as you claim the french airforce reduces to half/third or so because rafale is that much better to operate. So, can that logic translate to 3 sqd of Rafale in the IAF service doing job of 7 sqd of MMRCA requirement? (With a limit of 250hour per year)

It depends on the mission. If it's an air defence mission
The question is part of airforce requirement. IAF still has MKI,Mirage, LCA and Migs to do their part. Can 3 sqd of Rafale fulfill the MMRCA for IAF?

250 hours per year flying whatever the mission. (Excluding the wartime surge)
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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Im not asking you if rafale is superior. Its obviously because it appeared three-decade later to replace Mirage. Im asking as you claim the french airforce reduces to half/third or so because rafale is that much better to operate. So, can that logic translate to 3 sqd of Rafale in the IAF service doing job of 7 sqd of MMRCA requirement? (With a limit of 250hour per year)
If you had read my entire answer you would have seen that the answer was yes 3 squadrons of Rafale can do the job of 7 squadrons of Mirage 2000, and the reasons for that yes.

Do you think that 8 squadrons of SU-30 MKI can do the job of 7 squadrons of Mirage 2000 ? because 3 squadrons of Rafale can also do the job of 8 squadrons of SU-30 MKI. :)
 
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