Rafale RB of Indian Air Force : News and Discussions

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Rafale F3 Avionics Suite
Today’s Rafale F3 features a fully integrated digital avionics suite with a modular core architecture. The modular data processing unit (MDPU), a mission computer comprising 18 processor modules, hosts software for most of the aircraft’s systems and forms the heart of the avionics suite.



Avionics integration is assured by linking the various systems via four to six Mil-Std-1553B databuses and one optical STANAG 3910 databus. Communication between the aircraft’s onboard systems and its weapons is enabled by a pair of Mil-Std-1760 databuses.

The Rafale’s navigation suite includes two Sagem SIGMA 95 laser gyro inertial navigation system (LINS) platforms with embedded hybrid NSS-100 GPS units. The LINS allows flight plans with up to 600 waypoints to be programmed and stored. Source aviationtoday.com

 
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Tarun

That's only on the Rafale M. The French Navy didn't want to have to worry about ladders on the deck.
The built-in ladder is only part of the Marine Versions. For the air force versions, we only have the conventional external ladder. Would be interesting to know the reason behind this modification.
For carrier operations, the M model has a strengthened airframe, longer nose gear leg to provide a more nose-up attitude, larger tailhook between the engines, and a built-in boarding ladder. Consequently, the Rafale M weighs about 500 kg (1,100 lb) more than the Rafale C.

between, Eurofighter typhoon also have Integrated Ladders...
 
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Rakshit

Kane0610
Dec 2, 2017
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I'm not an expert but my best guess is possible but not practical.

Using thrust vectoring, you can always perform manoeuvres such as cobra, which in-turn results in rapid deceleration. But that is not a braking technique per say. It is a consequence of the manoeuvre.

I am not sure if thrust vectoring can be used for deceleration without changing the direction of the aircraft.
 
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ashkum2278

Member
Dec 4, 2017
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Probably he don't have adequate knowledge about proper terms used in the aviation.
He is writing for the sake of money and not due to interest.
BTW thrust vectoring do add to rapid speed retardation.

Yup that is because in case of a sudden turn, these is bleed of energy. As a result loss of speed and altitude. The only Jet which does not bleed energy is F-22 Raptor due to its powerful engine and high thrust to weight ratio.
 
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A Person

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Dec 1, 2017
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Would be interesting to know the reason behind this modification.
As I said, it's for convenience during carrier operations. You don't want to have to deal with ladders on a deck, where you would have to secure them, unsecure them, move them around, etc. Would be a source of potential accidents.

On an air base, it's not a problem, but an aircraft carrier's flight deck moves so everything on it needs to be fastened when not being attended to.
Why not retractable refuel probe instead.

Retractable probe means one more mechanism to maintain, one more potential source of failure, and it reduces fuel flow compared to a static probe. It also takes up more space inside the fuselage. From what I heard, Dassault wanted to fit the Rafale with a retractable probe but the French Air Force preferred a static one.
 
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bonobashi

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Dec 3, 2017
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Quite a few things actually, but I suspect you're itching to get straight down to what you didn't like about him, so go ahead...

Oh, nothing to that, dear Sir, just asked if you have any tangible point to make in his favour. I hope you realise that the present policies are as vulnerable to external pressure and as corrupt, in terms of susceptibility, as any other.

When I develop an itch, Sir, I seek privacy, so that I may indulge myself in scratching.
 
Dec 4, 2017
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TVC can provide only very limited braking increase, if nozzles are rotated to the downward position which will plant the fighter firmly onto the ground. But the combination of canards and stabilizers is more than sufficient to bring the fighter to normal stop without going to the trouble of operating the TVC during landing.

But its almost never used as you have a drag chute to help decelerate rapidly.

Video of a Su-30SM landing without chute.
 
T

Tarun

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© Swingwing / Defens’Aero – Visible here in the rear position, the helmet viewfinder has just performed its first flying hours aboard the Rafale DQ01
 

ashkum2278

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Dassault Rafale vs Eurofighter Typhoon


Introduction

This article will compare two medium-weight Eurocanards. Both aircraft trace their origins to a joint European project. In 1970s, France, Germany and United Kingdom realized a requirement for new fighter aircraft. By 1979, TKF-90 concept with cranked delta wing and close-coupled canard was developed. British engineers rejected thrust vectoring but agreed with overall concept. Same year MBB and BAe presented a formal proposal for collaborative fighter to their respective governments, and in October of the year Dassault joined the ECF team. National prototypes were constructed, with France constructing ACX, Rafale’s precursor, and UK constructing single-engined P.106 (which resembled Gripen) and P.110 (twin-engined fighter). All three proposals were of close-coupled canard-delta configuration. West Germany continued to develop TKF-90 concept, based around combination of thrust vectoring and long arm canards. In 1981 project collapsed; while Dassault’s demand for design leadership was granted, France opted out for two reasons. First, it was to preserve Snecma’s technological level and ability to design engines (new fighter would use British engines). Second, France insisted on new fighter being carrier-capable, whereas other nations had no such requirement.

Agile Combat Aircraft followed in 1982, and in 1983 Italy, Germany, France, UK and Spain launched the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme. Aircraft was to have short takeoff and landing as well as beyond visual range combat capabilities, but programme fell apart (again) when France (again) requested new fighter to be carrier-capable and demanded leading role in design. Italy, West Germany and UK thus established a new EFA programme, with Spain joining in 1985. France continued to pursue its own ACX project, utilizing ACX technology demonstrator whose construction was ordered in 1982 for purposes of FEFA project.

France was sole developer of Rafale’s airframe, avionics, propulsion systems and armament. At the same time, Typhoon ended up using German aerodynamic design, multinational PIRATE IRST (with Italian Galileo being the prime contractor and Spanish Technobit as well as British/French Thales contributing), British engine design, German gun and British, German, US and multinational missiles.

France started construction of Rafale A technology demonstrator in 1984, and demonstrator was rolled out in 1985, with maiden flight being carried out in 1986. During test programme, it reached speed of Mach 2, and 42.000 ft altitude. It was initially powered by F404 engine, with Snecma M88 replacing port F404 in demonstrator. In such configuration, Rafale A managed to reach Mach 1,4 in dry thrust and Mach 2,0 with only F404 in afterburner while M88 remained in dry thrust.

In 1985 in Turin, West Germany, UK and Italy agreed to go ahead with Eurofighter and confirmed that Spain and France were not proceeding as members of the project. Later same year Spain rejoined the project despite pressure from France. By 1986, excessive costs caused political issues but these were resolved; in same year, BAe EAP was rolled out and carried out its first flight.

In 1988, French government awarded Dassault a contract for four prototypes: one Rafale C, two Rafale Ms and one Rafale B. Fall of Berlin Wall led to Rafale not entering service in 1996 as planned. In 1991, Rafale C production prototype carried out its first flight; only one was built due to budget constraints. Compared to Rafale A, it was smaller, more stealthy and had better optimized aerodynamics. It also had gold-plated canopy and utilized radar absorbent paint as well as large amount of composites. Dassault also rejected variable engine inlets and air brake. Production of first aircraft series started in 1992 but was suspended in 1995, to be resumed in 1997. Aircraft entered service in 2001.

Typhoon’s first production contract was likewise signed in 1988, and that same year saw the name “Typhoon” adopted. In 1991 Germany wanted to withdraw from project and develop a smaller, lighter aircraft on its own but was unable to do so due to binding contracts signed and the fact that large amount of money had been spent already. Spain confirmed its order in 1996 and Germany in 1997.

1994 saw first flights of two development aircraft, DA1 and DA2, equipped with RB199 engines. First aircraft equipped with EJ200s, DA3, flew in 1995, followed in 1996 by two-seater DA6. First production contract was signed in 1998, and Eurofighter International was established in 1999. In 2003, first series production aircraft flew from Manching. Aircraft entered service in 2003.



Air-to-air performance

Impact on pilot’s skill

Most important factors in fighter design are ones that directly affect pilot: sortie rate / maintenance downtime, operating cost, user interface and reliability. Good enough pilot will compensate for aircraft’s weaknesses and focus on strengths, and even if aircraft is inferior across the board, he will be able to beat the opponent through tactics. How important training is was shown clearly in Vietnam: early on, USAFs F-4s achieved negative 2:1 exchange ratios against NVAF MiG-19 and MiG-21. Once USAF put some effort into pilot training, they started regularly achieving positive 2:1 exchange ratios. This is despite the fact that in dogfight, angles fighter (MiG) has no inherent advantage over the energy fighter (F-4) – or the opposite. In fact, MiGs had advantage in Vietnam due to smaller size and less smoky engines.

Rafale can fly 2,7 hours per day. Direct operating cost per hour of flight is 16.500 USD, and fuel consumption is 7.808 kg/h dry and 25.126 kg/h wet. Typhoon can fly 2,4 hours per day with direct operating cost per hour of flight of 18.000 USD, and fuel consumption is 9.936 kg/h dry and 31.752 kg/h wet. As it can be seen, both aircraft allow pilots necessary 30 hours per month of training. With Rafale, price will be 495.000 USD, compared to 540.000 USD for Typhoon. Assuming that maximum number of hours is flown by both aircraft (81 for Rafale and 72 for Typhoon), cost will be 1.336.500 USD for Rafale and 1.296.000 USD for Typhoon. If Rafale flies 72 hours per month, price will be 1.188.000 USD. Overall, Rafale gives only a slight advantage in terms of pilot training when compared to Typhoon, one unlikely to be decisive.

Situational awareness

Rafale’s primary air-to-air sensor is OSF optical sensor suite on top of the nose, with 80/130 km range. It consists of IRST sensor with 40 km identification range and video camera with 45-50 km identification range. In addition, it has RBE-2 radar with 139/208 km detection range, two fisheye IR MAWS sensors and 4 RWR sensors, as well as laser warners. MAWS and RWR sensors provide spherical coverage, and can be used to generate firing solution. It has framed canopy providing 360* horizontal and 197,7* vertical visibility, including 16* over the nose, 1,7* over the tail and 27* over the sides, with a maximum of 54* over the side visibility. RBE-2 has 120* angular coverage while RBE-2AA (AESA) has 140* angular coverage.

Typhoon has PIRATE IRST with 90/145 km detection range and 40 km identification range. In addition, it has CAPTOR radar with 185 km detection range, three radar-based MAWS and two ESM/ECM pods (presumably containing 4 RWR sensors) as well as laser warners. As with Rafale, MAWS and RWR sensors provide spherical coverage, but as MAWS is radar-based and RWRs are positioned on wing tips, it is unlikely they can be used to generate firing solution. It has framed canopy providing 360* horizontal and 197,8* vertical visibility, including 14,5* over the nose, 3,3* over the tail and a maximum of 47* over the sides. Captor M offers 140* azimuth and 120* elevation coverage, compared to 200* azimuth coverage for Captor E. It should be noted that RBE-2, RBE-2AA and Captor E will all loose on detection range near limits of their coverage.

Overall situational awareness can be said to be similar, with Typhoon having advantage in radar range and coverage while Rafale has advantage of passive IR MAWS. While Typhoon has longer-ranged IRST, this is compensated for by Rafale’s lower IR signature (see next section) and higher visual ID range. Rafale has advantage during dogfight due to better over the nose and over the side visibility, allowing it to more easily pull lead without loosing the target. This is also advantage during takeoffs and landings at short air strips and aircraft carriers.

Stealth

Stealth can be divided into several areas: visual, radar and IR. Visual stealth refers to how easy is to to see the aircraft with Mk.I eyeball. Radar stealth can refer to two things: aircraft’s radar cross section (RCS), and aircraft’s radar emissions (EMCON). IR stealth refers to aircraft’s IR signature.

In terms of visual signature, Dassault Rafale is 15,3 m long, 5,34 m high with 10,8 m wing span. Typhoon is 15,96 m long, 5,28 m high with 10,95 m wing span. Overall Typhoon has slightly larger visual signature from top and side, while frontal signature should be similar.

When it comes to radar signature, whichever jet uses radar is going to be detected well beyond its own radar range and become a target. SPECTRA will give Rafale firing solution with 1* precision at 200 km, while Typhoon’s DASS achieves same precision at “more than” 100 km, and can be used to cue radar or IRST. Rafale will have RCS of 0,75-1,10 m2 with 6 missiles. Captor-M has range of 185 km vs 3 m2 target, while CAPTOR E has range of 216 km vs 3 m2 target. Thus Typhoon will detect Rafale at 131-144 km with CAPTOR-M or 153-168 km with CAPTOR-E. Engagement range will be 105-115 km with CAPTOR-M or 122-135 km with CAPTOR-E. However, since SPECTRA can reduce RCS by factor of 1,5 to 3, Rafale’s RCS is 0,25-0,75 m2. Consequently, Typhoon will detect Rafale at 99-131 km with CAPTOR-M or 116-153 km with CAPTOR-E; engagement range is 79-105 km with CAPTOR-M and 92-122 km with CAPTOR-E. Typhoon will have RCS of 0,9-1,2 m2 with 6 missiles. RBE-2 has range of 139 km vs 5 m2 target. RBE-2AA has range of 208 km vs 5 m2 target, or 278 km when coupled with SPECTRA. Consequently, Rafale will detect Typhoon at 90-97 km with RBE-2, or 135-195 km with RBE-2AA. Engagement ranges will be 72-78 km with RBE-2 or 108-156 km with RBE-2AA. Rafale’s OSF has range of 80 km vs subsonic head-on target at 20.000 ft. At 30.000 ft, range may be 80-90 km, which means that Rafale will be able to attack Typhoon from 60-70 km. Typhoon’s PIRATE has 90 km range vs subsonic head-on target at unknown altitude, giving it 60-70 km engagement range. That being said, ability of both to attack the opponent will be limited by missile effective range (15-100 km for Meteor, 9-36 km for AIM-120D, 4-16 km for MICA).

In terms of IR signature, primary factors are size, speed and engine emissions. Rafale has two M88 engines producing a total of 9.953 kgf on dry thrust and 15.077 kgf thrust in reheat, compared to 12.236 kgf dry thrust / 18.354 kgf afterburner for Typhoon. M88 also has secondary cooling channel and outer nozzle which hides hottest part of exhaust plume from the view from some angles. EJ200 has no secondary cooling channel or outer nozzle; however, its higher bypass ratio and slightly lower turbine inlet temperature will reduce the difference. Both aircraft are capable of supercruise: Rafale achieves Mach 1,4 with 6 missiles, compared to Mach 1,5 for Typhoon. Consequently, Typhoon does not have to use as high percentage of dry thrust for equivalent cruise speed, thus reducing difference in IR signature. This advantage is reduced by the fact that Typhoon will have 3% larger shock cone profile when supersonic. Rafale also received Hot Spot treatment, further reducing its IR signature.

Cruise performance

Rafale M can cruise at Mach 1,4 with 6 missiles. Assuming that 30% of the onboard fuel (1.425 kg) is used for supercruise, Rafale will be able to cruise for 11 minutes (657 seconds). At 35.000 ft, this will allow it to cover 271,7 km (146,7 nm). Maximum combat radius on internal fuel is 925 km, or 1.850 km with 8 MICA and 3×2.200 l tanks. Flight range with external fuel tanks is 3.700 km.

Typhoon can cruise at Mach 1,5 with 6 missiles. Again assuming that 30% of the onboard fuel (1.482 kg) is used for supercruise, Typhoon will be able to cruise for 9,8 minutes (588 seconds). At 35.000 ft, this will allow it to cover 260,5 km (140,7 nm). Maximum combat radius on internal fuel is 1.100 km. Flight range with external fuel tanks is 3.700 km.

(Note: actual cruise endurance can be estimated to be thrice the numbers given here. This speculation is confirmed by F-22 managing 20 minute supercruise. That endurance however likely utilizes far greater percentage of internal fuel than what was assumed in this calculation.).

Maneuverability

Dassault Rafale has instantaneous turn rate of 30 deg/s and sustained turn rate of 24 deg/s. Eurofighter Typhoon has 30 deg/s instantaneous turn rate and sustained turn rate of 23 deg/s. Rafale can be relatively aerodynamically clean with 2 wingtip and 2 conformal missiles, compared to Typhoon’s 4 conformal missiles. However, this low-drag payload is more flexible for Rafale, as Typhoon cannot carry IR missiles on its conformal stations. Climb rate is 305 m/s for Rafale and 315 m/s for Typhoon, showing that latter has slightly better ability to regain energy. Rafale has less interference drag than Typhoon due to wing-body blending.

Rafale close coupled canards energize wing, improving control surface effectiveness and wing response to control surfaces. This leads to improved pitch and roll onset rates, especially at high angles of attack. Consequently, Rafale has superior transient performance when compared to baseline Typhoon variant; it can be flown in “bang-bang” manner as opposed to rolling pulls experienced by most other aircraft, including Typhoon. Rafale’s combination of close-coupled canards and LERX also leads to significant improvement in maximum lift and lift-drag ratio. Typhoon improvement package, consisting of 70* swept LERX (identical sweep to those on F-22 and Rafale), adds significant lift capability and may also improve transient performance, allowing it to match Rafale at least in some aspects. Rafale’s 48* wing sweep gives it better lift/drag ratio compared to Typhoon’s 52* sweep, albeit higher sweep means that Typhoon drags less in cruise flight.

(Note that the best way to escape either missile or gun shot is instantaneous turn in order to put the attacker at 3/9 o’clock followed by acceleration, and if necessary another turn. Sustained turns do not have much place in dogfight. In a multi-ship dogfight, no turn should be followed for more than 90 degrees).

During subsonic cruise, canard is unloaded for both close coupled and long arm configuration. This increases lift on trailing edge control surfaces required to keep the nose down, increasing aircraft’s lift/drag ratio. When supersonic, center of lift moves aft, increasing stability. While Rafale’s canards reduce center of pressure shift with increased speed, Typhoon has greater static negative stability margin. Consequently, supersonic maneuverability should be similar, with Typhoon having advantage at speeds above Mach 1,6 due to variable inlets and higher wing sweep.

In terms of post-stall maneuverability, Rafale can achieve 100-110* angle of attack, while Typhoon is limited to 70* angle of attack maximum in standard configuration. Addition of LERX allows it to achieve 100* angle of attack and thus match Rafale. Typical operational angle of attack limit is 32* for Rafale and 35* for Typhoon. However, Rafale’s close-coupled canard should allow it better spin recovery capability compared to either basic or upgraded Typhoon variant, with aircraft being basically spin-proof. Reliance on just LERX will also likely lead to lesser effectiveness of outboard control surfaces in Typhoon when compared to Rafale’s performance, reducing roll authority at high angles of attack. In both aircraft, passing 30* degree AoA will result in thrust loss due to loss in air flow, as it will separate from intakes.

Weapons

Rafale’s primary missile is MICA, a dual-role WVR/BVR missile which comes in IR and RF variants. It has 80 km maximum aerodynamic range and 50 g maneuvering capability at Mach 4. Additionally, it will be able to use Meteor as long-range BVR missile; it has 315 km range and 40 g maneuvering capability at Mach 4.

Typhoon has a wider selection of weapons. For beyond visual range combat, it can use AMRAAM and ASRAAM, as well as Meteor in future. For within visual range combat, it can use ASRAAM, Sidewinder and IRIS-T. AIM-120D is a RF BVR missile with 180 km maximum aerodynamic range. It has 40 g maneuvering capability at Mach 4. AIM-9X is an IR missile with 26-42 km maximum aerodynamic range and 50 g maneuvering capability at Mach 2,7, but Typhoon likely cannot use the latest variants. ASRAAM is an IR missile with 50 km maximum aerodynamic range and 50 g maneuvering capability at Mach 3. IRIS-T is a WVR IR missile with 25 km maximum aerodynamic range and 60 g maneuvering capability at Mach 3.

Overall, Typhoon has advantage in maximum missile range. However, its primary BVR missiles – AIM-120 and Meteor in the future – are active radar missiles. Consequently, even if Typhoon uses its IRST for passive attack, missile will give itself away with its own radar long before enemy MAWS notices it. Once it does so, its limited maneuverability and usage of easily jammed or decoyed RF seeker head means that any (modern) enemy fighters will easily avoid it. Typhoon does have IR BVRAAM option in ASRAAM, but it has shorter range than Rafale’s MICA IR; it compensates for range shortfall with superior maneuverability. IRIS-T gives it a dogfighting missile which is significantly superior to MICA in short-range engagements due to better maneuverability. Consequently, both aircraft have significant combat capabilities at both beyond and within visual range, with Typhoon having superior WVR missiles and Rafale having superior BVR missiles.

Rafale has a standard loadout of 6 missiles (2 MICA IR + 4 MICA RF) and 3 gun bursts, for a total of 1,47 onboard kills. Typhoon has a standard of 8 missiles (2 IR WVRAAM + 6 RF BVRAAM) and 5,4 gun bursts, for a total of 2,45 onboard kills. Heavy loadout for Rafale is 10 missiles; assuming 8 of these are MICA RF, total number of onboard kills is 1,79. Heavy loadout for Typhoon is 10 missiles; assuming 2 IR WVRAAM + 8 RF BVRAAM, total number of onboard kills is 2,61. It can be seen that Typhoon has significant advantage in number of onboard kills in both loadouts. Both aircraft also have options for both IR and RF BVRAAM, though IR BVRAAM are of different capabilities.

Numbers in the air

Rafale may allow up to 81 hours per month in the air, compared to 72 hours for Typhoon. Expenditure will be 1.336.500 USD per month for Rafale and 1.296.000 USD per month for Typhoon. Assuming equal expenditure, Rafale allows 78 hours per month in the air. As it can be seen, both aircraft allow adequate number of hours.

Since Rafale costs ~93 million USD unit flyaway, compared to 120 million USD for Typhoon, it has 1,29:1 advantage in number of aircraft, and 1,45:1 advantage in total number of sorties. This difference about equalizes number of onboard kills carried by the fleet.

Response to attacks

Both aircraft are likely capable of taking off the roads, but this capability will be restricted by their large wing spans (10,8 and 10,92 m, respectively). Another disadvantage are increased maintenance requirments brought on by twin-engined design. Consequently, neither aircraft can be effectively operated from road bases, which may be a lethal disadvantage in the age of precision GPS-guided munitions.



Engagement kill chain performance

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-05072010-1.html

Kill chain consists of following steps:

  • detect
    • detection capability
    • identification capability
  • engage
    • cruise speed
    • maximum speed / mach on entry
    • altitude on entry
    • lock on / firing solution range
    • missile seeker diversity
    • endgame countermeasures (inbuilt, towed, disposable; jammers, decoys, chaff, flares)
  • defeat the missile / disengage
    • airframe agility
    • sensors coverage
    • mach on egress / fuel reserves on afterburner
  • destroy
    • BVR missile seeker diversity
    • BVR missile agility
    • BVR missile warhead lethality
    • WVR missile agility
    • WVR missile warhead lethality
    • gun lethality
Detect

As shown before, Typhoon will detect Rafale at 99-168 km with radar, while Rafale will detect Typhoon at 90-195 km with radar. However, both aircraft have capable radar warners capable of detecting, and in Rafale’s case targeting, enemy radars; consequently, neither is likely to use radar. If radar is not used, Rafale will have smaller IR signature due to superior aerodynamics, smaller size and IR signature reduction measures. This however is compensated for by Typhoon having superior IRST, which means that, when using IRST, both aircraft will likely detect each other at approximately same distance. In clear weather, Rafale may have a minor advantage in identification capability due to OSF having a video camera in addition to IRST sensor.

(Even assuming that target is a flat plate and that entirety of the signal reaches it, radar will get back 1/16th of the signal – at best. RCS comparison shows automobile to have an RCS of 100 m2 (likely from the side; from the front, 25-50 m2 value can be expected), whereas Rafale and Typhoon have RCS of ~1 m2 when armed. Consequently, enemy radar receives less than 1/400th of the signal that was sent out.)

Note that radar-based NCTR is also very unreliable (30% identification reliability at best) and can be disabled by jamming or by target maneuvering. Because of this, 82% of the enemy aircraft engaged during Desert Storm had to be identified with help of AWACS, which will not be avaliable against a competent opponents as comlinks will be jammed, and AWACS aircraft will not survive for long in a proper war; remaining 18% were done by NCTR or IFF (and IFF itself will not be useful against a competent opponent). Consequently, IRST is a must for proper BVR engagement even when all other disadvantages of radar (loss of surprise, easily jammed) are ignored.

Engage

Rafale has a cruise speed of Mach 1,4 with 6 missiles, while Typhoon has a cruise speed of Mach 1,5 with same load. Top speed for both is Mach 2,0, limited by air intake design. There is also a difference in service ceiling – 59.055 ft for Rafale and 64.993 ft for Typhoon; while Rafale can achieve Mach 2,0 at 50.000 ft, Typhoon can do the same at 55.000 ft. Higher cruise speed and acceleration will also allow Typhoon to more quickly reach its top speed, and if both aircraft are at same altitude, Typhoon will be better able to regain energy as well as having excess power for maneuvers. Typhoon’s ability to engage at higher speeds and altitudes will give it superiority in missile range over Rafale when using same missile types (e.g. Meteor). This advantage will be at least somewhat negated when using IR BVRAAM due to Mica’s longer range when compared to ASRAAM.

As shown before, both aircraft will be able to engage each other at beyond visual range by using either radar or IRST. Radar performance against each other is fairly similar, and so should be IRST performance. Since radar-guided BVRAAM are easy to jam, Rafale’s usage of MICA IR gives it engagement advantage over ASRAAM/AIM-9XIII equipped Typhoon.

Both Rafale and Typhoon have a selection of RF and IR BVR missiles. However, while ASRAAM has maximum engagement range of 50 km, Rafale’s MICA IR has range of 80 km, giving Rafale range advantage when using IR missiles. This advantage however is reduced by Typhoon’s kinematic advantage in terms of cruise speed and operating altitude. With RF missiles, Typhoon currently has (slight) advantage of using AIM-120C-5 with maximum range of 105 km, compared to MICAs 80 km range; price of this is AIM-120s inferior maneuverability. This will be equalized once both aircraft get 315 km range MBDA Meteor missile. This however assumes equal cruise speed. However, Rafale has cruise speed of Mach 1,4 with air-to-air load, compared to Typhoon’s Mach 1,5. At 40.000 ft (most likely altitude for these cruise speeds), Mach 0,1 difference equalizes 57,3 kts difference. As a rule, missile range from the rear is 1/4 of stated missile range, 100 knot speed advantage reduces missile range 5 to 25%, and effective range is 1/5 of aerodynamic range. Consequently, Rafale with MICA will have effective engagement range of 3,4-16 km against Typhoon, while Typhoon with ASRAAM will have effective engagement range of 2,9-10 km against Rafale. When using Meteor, Rafale will achieve 21-24 km range against Typhoon in rear-quarter attacks, while Typhoon will achieve 26-29 km range against Rafale in rear-quarter attacks.

Defeat the missile / disengage

Once warned of a missile launch, first reaction is to properly position the aircraft for evasion. At beyond visual range, it is oftentimes enough to turn the aircraft away from the missile. At shorter ranges (near-visual and visual range), pilot has to quickly position the missile to the aircraft’s 3 or 9 o’clock and then turn into the missile once close enough. Both of these require high instantaneous turn capability, as well as acceleration / climb to recover lost energy. Rafale has instantaneous turn rate of 30 deg/s, sustained turn rate of 24 deg/s, maximum climb rate of 305 m/s and roll rate of 290 deg/s. Typhoon has instantaneous turn rate of 30 deg/s, sustained turn rate of 23 deg/s, maximum climb rate of 315 m/s and roll rate of 250 deg/s. However, Rafale’s superior transient performance will give it better ability to evade missiles despite similar turn and acceleration rates.

Rafale and Typhoon both have 360* coverage with RWR and MAWS, and frontal-sector-only coverage with radar and IRST. Rafale has 120* angular coverage with RBE-2 and 140* angular coverage with RBE-2AA. Typhoon has 140* angular coverage with CAPTOR-M and 200* angular coverage with CAPTOR-E, giving it superiority when engaging enemies with radar. In particular, CAPTOR-Es extreme field of view will allow Typhoon to maintain target track while engaging in defensive maneuvers, thus reducing enemy’s effective missile range. Unlike RBE-2AA however, CAPTOR-E is not yet in service, which means that both aircraft have equal radar coverage at time of writing of this article, with Rafale having advantage in engagement range. Rafale will also be able to use SPECTRA to keep track of Typhoon during engagement, as long as Typhoon is using its radar.

Another issue is of fuel reserves for maneuvering. Assuming that both aircraft have 40% of the fuel avaliable for maneuvers, Rafale has enough fuel for 4,54 minutes of maximum afterburner while Typhoon has enough fuel for 3,89 minutes of maximum afterburner. However, using a number of maneuvers that can be done for a certain amount of fuel is superior indicator of endurance as higher-performance aircraft can afford to throttle down and extend endurance; this may not have much impact in this case due to aircrafts’ similar performance. Comparison will assume 360* corner-speed sustained turn followed by an equivalent of 10.000 m climb at maximum (initial) climb speed. Rafale will use 15 seconds for a turn, 32,79 seconds for a climb and 0,62 seconds for equivalent of a 180* roll at maximum rate, for a total of 48,41 seconds of maximum afterburner and 5,63 maneuvers. Typhoon will use 15,65 seconds for a turn, 31,75 seconds for a climb and 0,72 seconds for equivalent of a 180* roll at maximum rate, for a total of 48,12 seconds of maximum afterburner and 4,85 maneuvers. As it can be seen, Rafale has higher combat endurance. (Note here that this is based on sea-level figures; at 30.000 ft, actual thrust and fuel consumption will be closer to 1/3rd of those used, which will extend endurance. However, relative figures should stay similar, or slightly change in Typhoon’s favor).

In terms of countermeasures, Rafale has onboard AESA jammers, chaff and flares; SPECTRA is also capable of reducing aircraft’s RCS through active cancellation, though this is likely only an option against older-type radars. It does make it immune to home-on-jam mode of modern missiles. Typhoon has chaff and flares; jammers are located in wing tip pods which also contain towed decoys, and are not directional; this reduces their effectiveness compared to SPECTRA’s directional jamming, but presence of a towed decoy may improve effectiveness against missiles with home-on-jam mode. Typhoon’s IRIS-T may be capable of destroying enemy missiles.

Destroy

In terms of agility, AIM-120C-5 can pull 30 g at Mach 4 (and can hold it for 4,5 s at most), Meteor can pull 40 g at Mach 4, ASRAAM can pull 50 g at Mach 3 and MICA IR can pull 50 g at Mach 4. This means that maximum turn rate is 13,91 deg/s for AIM-120C-5, 18,54 deg/s for Meteor, 30,9 deg/s for ASRAAM and 23,2 deg/s for MICA IR. Comparing this to respective aircraft turn rates (30 deg/s instantaneous for both), it can be seen that both aircraft have a good chance of evading any of the missiles listed.

AIM-120C has warhead weight of 20 kg, compared to 12 kg for MICA and 10 kg for ASRAAM. Consequently, lack of agility is somewhat compensated for by larger warhead weight; still, even assuming a perfectly cylindrical propagation pattern, AIM-120C has 1,4 times as large lethal radius as ASRAAM while latter has 2,22 times as high turn rate.

When it comes to WVR missiles, Rafale carries MICA IR as well while Typhoon carries either ASRAAM or IRIS-T. As calculated before, MICA IR has turn rate of 23,2 deg/s while ASRAAM has turn rate of 30,9 deg/s. IRIS-T can pull 60 g at Mach 3, for 37,07 deg/s ITR, which is significantly superior to either of other two missiles, and actually superior to instantaneous turn rates of either Typhoon or Rafale. MICA has 12 kg warhead, compared to 10 kg for ASRAAM and 11,4 kg for IRIS-T. Overall, Typhoon has significantly superior WVR missiles and more maneuverable IR BVRAAM, while Rafale has advantage in engagement range and warhead lethality when using IR BVRAAM.

In terms of gun lethality, both aircraft are equipped with revolver guns. Rafale uses GIAT-30 while Typhoon uses BK-27. GIAT-30 fires 275 g projectile with 17,5% HEI content (~48 g) at 1.025 m/s muzzle velocity, giving muzzle energy of 144,5 kJ. Projectile has crossectional density of 38,9 g/cm2. BK-27 fires 260 g projectile with 15% HEI content (39 g) at 1.100 m/s muzzle velocity, giving muzzle energy of 157,3 kJ. Projectile has crossectional density of 45,4 g/cm2. GIAT 30 has advantage in rate of fire (2.500 vs 1.700 rpm), allowing it to fire 19 projectiles in one burst, compared to 13 for BK-27. This means that GIAT 30 has per-burst throw weight of 5,23 kg with 0,91 kg of HEI and burst energy of 2,75 MJ, while BK-27 has throw weight of 3,38 kg with 0,51 kg of HEI and burst energy of 2,04 MJ. Overall, higher rate of fire, throw weight / muzzle energy and HEI content gives lethality advantage to GIAT 30, but BK-27 has advantage in effective range due to higher muzzle velocity and denser projectiles.



Air-to-ground performance

Finding targets

Rafale and Typhoon can both use radar, IRST or external pod for finding ground targets. Rafale has Thales Damocles targeting pod and Thales AREOS reconnaissance pod, while Typhoon has Damocles and Litening III targeting pods but no reconnaissance pod. AREOS Reco NG allows Rafale to capture digital imaginery during day and night (IR) and from all altitudes, and feed it to offboard systems. It offers identification range of several tens of kilometers. Both Damocles and Litening offer high resolution IR imaginery and laser designation, and can overall be considered comparable.

Range

Rafale with external air-to-ground weapons has combat radius of 530-630 km on air-to-ground mission (530 km lo-lo-lo, 630 km lo-hi-lo). Rafale achieves 1.090 km combat radius in low-level penetration w/ 12×250 kg bombs, 4 MICA, 3×380 US gal tanks.

Typhoon has combat radius of 601 km in ground attack mission with lo-lo-lo profile, and 1.389 km with hi-lo-hi profile, using external fuel tanks.

Payload

Rafale has major advantage in that it can carry 9.500 kg of external payload, compared to Typhoon’s 7.500 kg. Furthermore, ten out of its 14 hardpoints can hold air-to-ground weapons, while only six of Typhoon’s 13 hardpoints are air-to-ground capable (with a maximum of eight weapons).

Both aircraft have a selection of laser-guided, GPS-guided bombs as well as cruise missiles. Typhoon and Rafale both use Paveway laser guidance kits, while Rafale also has AASM kit which includes rocket boosters for extending range of bombs, and short-ranged laser-guided AS-30L air-to-ground missile.

Both aircraft also use Storm Shadow and Apache cruise missiles. Apache is anti-runway cruise missile with submunitions payload, while Storm Shadow is based on Apache but uses BROACH warhead for taking out hardened targets. Typhoon also uses Taurus cruise missile, which duplicates Storm Shadow’s anti-bunker capability but has longer range (500 vs 400 km) and larger warhead (500 vs 450 kg). Unlike Storm Shadow, Taurus can also be used against ships.

In maritime attack, Rafale has highly lethal Exocet missile, while Typhoon uses US-made Harpoon and Penguin littoral anti-ship missile. Compared to Exocet and Harpoon, Penguin is shorter ranged at 55 km but harder to decoy due to using IR seeker instead of radar seeker head. Rafale however is better suited for high-speed low-altitude flight due to its close-coupled canards.

Rafale is also capable of using ASMP nuclear missile with 60-500 km range (depending on version, target and launch/engagement profile) and 150/300 kt warhead. Typhoon has ALARM anti-radiation missile and Brimstone missile for taking out hardened targets, as well as anti-armor BL-755 cluster bombs, BK90 gliding cluster bombs.

Survivability

Both aircraft have good survivability (relatively speaking, for thin-skinned aircraft) due to twin-engined configuration and usage of overlapping control surfaces (canards).

Rafale’s SPECTRA does offer it survivability advantage against SAMs, but lacks towed decoy. This can be compensated for by using disposable jammers, but Rafale may not use them at present.

Performance in specific missions

In deep strike, neither aircraft has a major advantage due to similar combat radius and weapons, though Typhoon may have some advantage.

In close air support, main requirement is ability to fly and maneuver low and slow in order to engage targets with gun. In this, Rafale has a major advantage due to its close-coupled canard configuration as well as usage of more destructive 30 mm gun. Typhoon partly compensates for thi shortcoming with its superior selection of low-damage guided weapons, but these are still more expensive, less precise and more destructive than old-fashioned gunfire. Both aircraft are however highly vulnerable to small arms fire, meaning that they are unlikely to be used in this role.

In SEAD, Rafale has advantage of superior electronic warfare suite, but it also lacks towed decoy and dedicated anti-radiation missile. As standoff attacks may not be effective due to SAM mobility (as SA-6 needs 5 minutes to pack up and leave, Storm Shadow cruise missile can be employed from at most 80 km for assured effectiveness (1.000 kph speed), despite having nominal range of 560 km), both aircraft will need to utilize low-altitude attacks. In this area, Rafale’s close-coupled canards give it advantage ov reduced gust sensitivity and thus increased maximum speed (though it may still be limited by weapons carried). Radar horizon at altitude of 500 m is located at distance of 65 km. Rafale at low altitude will cover 65 km in 2,8 minutes at speed of 750 knots (4 minutes at 529 knots with heavy air-to-ground load); Typhoon may have similar performance.



Ground suvivability

Ground survivability includes possibility of camouflage and ability to operate from road bases. Latter includes STOL capability, wingspan limits, fuel consumption and ease of maintenance considerations. Wingspan should not be greater than 8,74 meters.

Rafale can take off in 590 meters (rolling takeoff) and land in 490 meters. Wingspan is 10,8 meters. Fuel consumption is 1.330 kg/h (?) kg/h cruise, 7.808 kg/h at maximum dry thrust and 25.126 kg/h afterburning.

Typhoon can take off in 500 meters, which is likely brakes-on takeoff, and land in 700 meters. Wingspan is 10,95 meters. Fuel consumption is 1.492 (?) kg/h cruise, 9.072 kg/h at maximum dry thrust and 30.456 kg/h afterburning.

As it can be seen, there is slight difference in aircraft on-ground survivability in Rafale’s favor. Rafale also requires far smaller maintenance support and far less fuel for operations, leading to reduced logistical footprint.



Conclusion

In air-to-air combat, Rafale is a superior dogfighter while Typhoon is superior at beyond visual range interception. Typhoon’s superiority at BVR combat is somewhat negated by its lack of MICA-class IR BVRAAM.

Rafale is also superior air-to-ground platform, but both aircraft have superiority in certain weapons categories over each other, so either could be a better choice, depending on situation. Rafale however is a better choice for the most important air-to-ground mission – close air support, though it doesn’t come anywhere close to purpose-built aircraft such as A-10.


SOURCE
Dassault Rafale vs Eurofighter Typhoon
 
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Dagger

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Dec 2, 2017
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Dassault Rafale vs Eurofighter Typhoon


Introduction

This article will compare two medium-weight Eurocanards. Both aircraft trace their origins to a joint European project. In 1970s, France, Germany and United Kingdom realized a requirement for new fighter aircraft. By 1979, TKF-90 concept with cranked delta wing and close-coupled canard was developed. British engineers rejected thrust vectoring but agreed with overall concept. Same year MBB and BAe presented a formal proposal for collaborative fighter to their respective governments, and in October of the year Dassault joined the ECF team. National prototypes were constructed, with France constructing ACX, Rafale’s precursor, and UK constructing single-engined P.106 (which resembled Gripen) and P.110 (twin-engined fighter). All three proposals were of close-coupled canard-delta configuration. West Germany continued to develop TKF-90 concept, based around combination of thrust vectoring and long arm canards. In 1981 project collapsed; while Dassault’s demand for design leadership was granted, France opted out for two reasons. First, it was to preserve Snecma’s technological level and ability to design engines (new fighter would use British engines). Second, France insisted on new fighter being carrier-capable, whereas other nations had no such requirement.

Agile Combat Aircraft followed in 1982, and in 1983 Italy, Germany, France, UK and Spain launched the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme. Aircraft was to have short takeoff and landing as well as beyond visual range combat capabilities, but programme fell apart (again) when France (again) requested new fighter to be carrier-capable and demanded leading role in design. Italy, West Germany and UK thus established a new EFA programme, with Spain joining in 1985. France continued to pursue its own ACX project, utilizing ACX technology demonstrator whose construction was ordered in 1982 for purposes of FEFA project.

France was sole developer of Rafale’s airframe, avionics, propulsion systems and armament. At the same time, Typhoon ended up using German aerodynamic design, multinational PIRATE IRST (with Italian Galileo being the prime contractor and Spanish Technobit as well as British/French Thales contributing), British engine design, German gun and British, German, US and multinational missiles.

France started construction of Rafale A technology demonstrator in 1984, and demonstrator was rolled out in 1985, with maiden flight being carried out in 1986. During test programme, it reached speed of Mach 2, and 42.000 ft altitude. It was initially powered by F404 engine, with Snecma M88 replacing port F404 in demonstrator. In such configuration, Rafale A managed to reach Mach 1,4 in dry thrust and Mach 2,0 with only F404 in afterburner while M88 remained in dry thrust.

In 1985 in Turin, West Germany, UK and Italy agreed to go ahead with Eurofighter and confirmed that Spain and France were not proceeding as members of the project. Later same year Spain rejoined the project despite pressure from France. By 1986, excessive costs caused political issues but these were resolved; in same year, BAe EAP was rolled out and carried out its first flight.

In 1988, French government awarded Dassault a contract for four prototypes: one Rafale C, two Rafale Ms and one Rafale B. Fall of Berlin Wall led to Rafale not entering service in 1996 as planned. In 1991, Rafale C production prototype carried out its first flight; only one was built due to budget constraints. Compared to Rafale A, it was smaller, more stealthy and had better optimized aerodynamics. It also had gold-plated canopy and utilized radar absorbent paint as well as large amount of composites. Dassault also rejected variable engine inlets and air brake. Production of first aircraft series started in 1992 but was suspended in 1995, to be resumed in 1997. Aircraft entered service in 2001.

Typhoon’s first production contract was likewise signed in 1988, and that same year saw the name “Typhoon” adopted. In 1991 Germany wanted to withdraw from project and develop a smaller, lighter aircraft on its own but was unable to do so due to binding contracts signed and the fact that large amount of money had been spent already. Spain confirmed its order in 1996 and Germany in 1997.

1994 saw first flights of two development aircraft, DA1 and DA2, equipped with RB199 engines. First aircraft equipped with EJ200s, DA3, flew in 1995, followed in 1996 by two-seater DA6. First production contract was signed in 1998, and Eurofighter International was established in 1999. In 2003, first series production aircraft flew from Manching. Aircraft entered service in 2003.



Air-to-air performance

Impact on pilot’s skill

Most important factors in fighter design are ones that directly affect pilot: sortie rate / maintenance downtime, operating cost, user interface and reliability. Good enough pilot will compensate for aircraft’s weaknesses and focus on strengths, and even if aircraft is inferior across the board, he will be able to beat the opponent through tactics. How important training is was shown clearly in Vietnam: early on, USAFs F-4s achieved negative 2:1 exchange ratios against NVAF MiG-19 and MiG-21. Once USAF put some effort into pilot training, they started regularly achieving positive 2:1 exchange ratios. This is despite the fact that in dogfight, angles fighter (MiG) has no inherent advantage over the energy fighter (F-4) – or the opposite. In fact, MiGs had advantage in Vietnam due to smaller size and less smoky engines.

Rafale can fly 2,7 hours per day. Direct operating cost per hour of flight is 16.500 USD, and fuel consumption is 7.808 kg/h dry and 25.126 kg/h wet. Typhoon can fly 2,4 hours per day with direct operating cost per hour of flight of 18.000 USD, and fuel consumption is 9.936 kg/h dry and 31.752 kg/h wet. As it can be seen, both aircraft allow pilots necessary 30 hours per month of training. With Rafale, price will be 495.000 USD, compared to 540.000 USD for Typhoon. Assuming that maximum number of hours is flown by both aircraft (81 for Rafale and 72 for Typhoon), cost will be 1.336.500 USD for Rafale and 1.296.000 USD for Typhoon. If Rafale flies 72 hours per month, price will be 1.188.000 USD. Overall, Rafale gives only a slight advantage in terms of pilot training when compared to Typhoon, one unlikely to be decisive.

Situational awareness

Rafale’s primary air-to-air sensor is OSF optical sensor suite on top of the nose, with 80/130 km range. It consists of IRST sensor with 40 km identification range and video camera with 45-50 km identification range. In addition, it has RBE-2 radar with 139/208 km detection range, two fisheye IR MAWS sensors and 4 RWR sensors, as well as laser warners. MAWS and RWR sensors provide spherical coverage, and can be used to generate firing solution. It has framed canopy providing 360* horizontal and 197,7* vertical visibility, including 16* over the nose, 1,7* over the tail and 27* over the sides, with a maximum of 54* over the side visibility. RBE-2 has 120* angular coverage while RBE-2AA (AESA) has 140* angular coverage.

Typhoon has PIRATE IRST with 90/145 km detection range and 40 km identification range. In addition, it has CAPTOR radar with 185 km detection range, three radar-based MAWS and two ESM/ECM pods (presumably containing 4 RWR sensors) as well as laser warners. As with Rafale, MAWS and RWR sensors provide spherical coverage, but as MAWS is radar-based and RWRs are positioned on wing tips, it is unlikely they can be used to generate firing solution. It has framed canopy providing 360* horizontal and 197,8* vertical visibility, including 14,5* over the nose, 3,3* over the tail and a maximum of 47* over the sides. Captor M offers 140* azimuth and 120* elevation coverage, compared to 200* azimuth coverage for Captor E. It should be noted that RBE-2, RBE-2AA and Captor E will all loose on detection range near limits of their coverage.

Overall situational awareness can be said to be similar, with Typhoon having advantage in radar range and coverage while Rafale has advantage of passive IR MAWS. While Typhoon has longer-ranged IRST, this is compensated for by Rafale’s lower IR signature (see next section) and higher visual ID range. Rafale has advantage during dogfight due to better over the nose and over the side visibility, allowing it to more easily pull lead without loosing the target. This is also advantage during takeoffs and landings at short air strips and aircraft carriers.

Stealth

Stealth can be divided into several areas: visual, radar and IR. Visual stealth refers to how easy is to to see the aircraft with Mk.I eyeball. Radar stealth can refer to two things: aircraft’s radar cross section (RCS), and aircraft’s radar emissions (EMCON). IR stealth refers to aircraft’s IR signature.

In terms of visual signature, Dassault Rafale is 15,3 m long, 5,34 m high with 10,8 m wing span. Typhoon is 15,96 m long, 5,28 m high with 10,95 m wing span. Overall Typhoon has slightly larger visual signature from top and side, while frontal signature should be similar.

When it comes to radar signature, whichever jet uses radar is going to be detected well beyond its own radar range and become a target. SPECTRA will give Rafale firing solution with 1* precision at 200 km, while Typhoon’s DASS achieves same precision at “more than” 100 km, and can be used to cue radar or IRST. Rafale will have RCS of 0,75-1,10 m2 with 6 missiles. Captor-M has range of 185 km vs 3 m2 target, while CAPTOR E has range of 216 km vs 3 m2 target. Thus Typhoon will detect Rafale at 131-144 km with CAPTOR-M or 153-168 km with CAPTOR-E. Engagement range will be 105-115 km with CAPTOR-M or 122-135 km with CAPTOR-E. However, since SPECTRA can reduce RCS by factor of 1,5 to 3, Rafale’s RCS is 0,25-0,75 m2. Consequently, Typhoon will detect Rafale at 99-131 km with CAPTOR-M or 116-153 km with CAPTOR-E; engagement range is 79-105 km with CAPTOR-M and 92-122 km with CAPTOR-E. Typhoon will have RCS of 0,9-1,2 m2 with 6 missiles. RBE-2 has range of 139 km vs 5 m2 target. RBE-2AA has range of 208 km vs 5 m2 target, or 278 km when coupled with SPECTRA. Consequently, Rafale will detect Typhoon at 90-97 km with RBE-2, or 135-195 km with RBE-2AA. Engagement ranges will be 72-78 km with RBE-2 or 108-156 km with RBE-2AA. Rafale’s OSF has range of 80 km vs subsonic head-on target at 20.000 ft. At 30.000 ft, range may be 80-90 km, which means that Rafale will be able to attack Typhoon from 60-70 km. Typhoon’s PIRATE has 90 km range vs subsonic head-on target at unknown altitude, giving it 60-70 km engagement range. That being said, ability of both to attack the opponent will be limited by missile effective range (15-100 km for Meteor, 9-36 km for AIM-120D, 4-16 km for MICA).

In terms of IR signature, primary factors are size, speed and engine emissions. Rafale has two M88 engines producing a total of 9.953 kgf on dry thrust and 15.077 kgf thrust in reheat, compared to 12.236 kgf dry thrust / 18.354 kgf afterburner for Typhoon. M88 also has secondary cooling channel and outer nozzle which hides hottest part of exhaust plume from the view from some angles. EJ200 has no secondary cooling channel or outer nozzle; however, its higher bypass ratio and slightly lower turbine inlet temperature will reduce the difference. Both aircraft are capable of supercruise: Rafale achieves Mach 1,4 with 6 missiles, compared to Mach 1,5 for Typhoon. Consequently, Typhoon does not have to use as high percentage of dry thrust for equivalent cruise speed, thus reducing difference in IR signature. This advantage is reduced by the fact that Typhoon will have 3% larger shock cone profile when supersonic. Rafale also received Hot Spot treatment, further reducing its IR signature.

Cruise performance

Rafale M can cruise at Mach 1,4 with 6 missiles. Assuming that 30% of the onboard fuel (1.425 kg) is used for supercruise, Rafale will be able to cruise for 11 minutes (657 seconds). At 35.000 ft, this will allow it to cover 271,7 km (146,7 nm). Maximum combat radius on internal fuel is 925 km, or 1.850 km with 8 MICA and 3×2.200 l tanks. Flight range with external fuel tanks is 3.700 km.

Typhoon can cruise at Mach 1,5 with 6 missiles. Again assuming that 30% of the onboard fuel (1.482 kg) is used for supercruise, Typhoon will be able to cruise for 9,8 minutes (588 seconds). At 35.000 ft, this will allow it to cover 260,5 km (140,7 nm). Maximum combat radius on internal fuel is 1.100 km. Flight range with external fuel tanks is 3.700 km.

(Note: actual cruise endurance can be estimated to be thrice the numbers given here. This speculation is confirmed by F-22 managing 20 minute supercruise. That endurance however likely utilizes far greater percentage of internal fuel than what was assumed in this calculation.).

Maneuverability

Dassault Rafale has instantaneous turn rate of 30 deg/s and sustained turn rate of 24 deg/s. Eurofighter Typhoon has 30 deg/s instantaneous turn rate and sustained turn rate of 23 deg/s. Rafale can be relatively aerodynamically clean with 2 wingtip and 2 conformal missiles, compared to Typhoon’s 4 conformal missiles. However, this low-drag payload is more flexible for Rafale, as Typhoon cannot carry IR missiles on its conformal stations. Climb rate is 305 m/s for Rafale and 315 m/s for Typhoon, showing that latter has slightly better ability to regain energy. Rafale has less interference drag than Typhoon due to wing-body blending.

Rafale close coupled canards energize wing, improving control surface effectiveness and wing response to control surfaces. This leads to improved pitch and roll onset rates, especially at high angles of attack. Consequently, Rafale has superior transient performance when compared to baseline Typhoon variant; it can be flown in “bang-bang” manner as opposed to rolling pulls experienced by most other aircraft, including Typhoon. Rafale’s combination of close-coupled canards and LERX also leads to significant improvement in maximum lift and lift-drag ratio. Typhoon improvement package, consisting of 70* swept LERX (identical sweep to those on F-22 and Rafale), adds significant lift capability and may also improve transient performance, allowing it to match Rafale at least in some aspects. Rafale’s 48* wing sweep gives it better lift/drag ratio compared to Typhoon’s 52* sweep, albeit higher sweep means that Typhoon drags less in cruise flight.

(Note that the best way to escape either missile or gun shot is instantaneous turn in order to put the attacker at 3/9 o’clock followed by acceleration, and if necessary another turn. Sustained turns do not have much place in dogfight. In a multi-ship dogfight, no turn should be followed for more than 90 degrees).

During subsonic cruise, canard is unloaded for both close coupled and long arm configuration. This increases lift on trailing edge control surfaces required to keep the nose down, increasing aircraft’s lift/drag ratio. When supersonic, center of lift moves aft, increasing stability. While Rafale’s canards reduce center of pressure shift with increased speed, Typhoon has greater static negative stability margin. Consequently, supersonic maneuverability should be similar, with Typhoon having advantage at speeds above Mach 1,6 due to variable inlets and higher wing sweep.

In terms of post-stall maneuverability, Rafale can achieve 100-110* angle of attack, while Typhoon is limited to 70* angle of attack maximum in standard configuration. Addition of LERX allows it to achieve 100* angle of attack and thus match Rafale. Typical operational angle of attack limit is 32* for Rafale and 35* for Typhoon. However, Rafale’s close-coupled canard should allow it better spin recovery capability compared to either basic or upgraded Typhoon variant, with aircraft being basically spin-proof. Reliance on just LERX will also likely lead to lesser effectiveness of outboard control surfaces in Typhoon when compared to Rafale’s performance, reducing roll authority at high angles of attack. In both aircraft, passing 30* degree AoA will result in thrust loss due to loss in air flow, as it will separate from intakes.

Weapons

Rafale’s primary missile is MICA, a dual-role WVR/BVR missile which comes in IR and RF variants. It has 80 km maximum aerodynamic range and 50 g maneuvering capability at Mach 4. Additionally, it will be able to use Meteor as long-range BVR missile; it has 315 km range and 40 g maneuvering capability at Mach 4.

Typhoon has a wider selection of weapons. For beyond visual range combat, it can use AMRAAM and ASRAAM, as well as Meteor in future. For within visual range combat, it can use ASRAAM, Sidewinder and IRIS-T. AIM-120D is a RF BVR missile with 180 km maximum aerodynamic range. It has 40 g maneuvering capability at Mach 4. AIM-9X is an IR missile with 26-42 km maximum aerodynamic range and 50 g maneuvering capability at Mach 2,7, but Typhoon likely cannot use the latest variants. ASRAAM is an IR missile with 50 km maximum aerodynamic range and 50 g maneuvering capability at Mach 3. IRIS-T is a WVR IR missile with 25 km maximum aerodynamic range and 60 g maneuvering capability at Mach 3.

Overall, Typhoon has advantage in maximum missile range. However, its primary BVR missiles – AIM-120 and Meteor in the future – are active radar missiles. Consequently, even if Typhoon uses its IRST for passive attack, missile will give itself away with its own radar long before enemy MAWS notices it. Once it does so, its limited maneuverability and usage of easily jammed or decoyed RF seeker head means that any (modern) enemy fighters will easily avoid it. Typhoon does have IR BVRAAM option in ASRAAM, but it has shorter range than Rafale’s MICA IR; it compensates for range shortfall with superior maneuverability. IRIS-T gives it a dogfighting missile which is significantly superior to MICA in short-range engagements due to better maneuverability. Consequently, both aircraft have significant combat capabilities at both beyond and within visual range, with Typhoon having superior WVR missiles and Rafale having superior BVR missiles.

Rafale has a standard loadout of 6 missiles (2 MICA IR + 4 MICA RF) and 3 gun bursts, for a total of 1,47 onboard kills. Typhoon has a standard of 8 missiles (2 IR WVRAAM + 6 RF BVRAAM) and 5,4 gun bursts, for a total of 2,45 onboard kills. Heavy loadout for Rafale is 10 missiles; assuming 8 of these are MICA RF, total number of onboard kills is 1,79. Heavy loadout for Typhoon is 10 missiles; assuming 2 IR WVRAAM + 8 RF BVRAAM, total number of onboard kills is 2,61. It can be seen that Typhoon has significant advantage in number of onboard kills in both loadouts. Both aircraft also have options for both IR and RF BVRAAM, though IR BVRAAM are of different capabilities.

Numbers in the air

Rafale may allow up to 81 hours per month in the air, compared to 72 hours for Typhoon. Expenditure will be 1.336.500 USD per month for Rafale and 1.296.000 USD per month for Typhoon. Assuming equal expenditure, Rafale allows 78 hours per month in the air. As it can be seen, both aircraft allow adequate number of hours.

Since Rafale costs ~93 million USD unit flyaway, compared to 120 million USD for Typhoon, it has 1,29:1 advantage in number of aircraft, and 1,45:1 advantage in total number of sorties. This difference about equalizes number of onboard kills carried by the fleet.

Response to attacks

Both aircraft are likely capable of taking off the roads, but this capability will be restricted by their large wing spans (10,8 and 10,92 m, respectively). Another disadvantage are increased maintenance requirments brought on by twin-engined design. Consequently, neither aircraft can be effectively operated from road bases, which may be a lethal disadvantage in the age of precision GPS-guided munitions.



Engagement kill chain performance

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-05072010-1.html

Kill chain consists of following steps:

  • detect
    • detection capability
    • identification capability
  • engage
    • cruise speed
    • maximum speed / mach on entry
    • altitude on entry
    • lock on / firing solution range
    • missile seeker diversity
    • endgame countermeasures (inbuilt, towed, disposable; jammers, decoys, chaff, flares)
  • defeat the missile / disengage
    • airframe agility
    • sensors coverage
    • mach on egress / fuel reserves on afterburner
  • destroy
    • BVR missile seeker diversity
    • BVR missile agility
    • BVR missile warhead lethality
    • WVR missile agility
    • WVR missile warhead lethality
    • gun lethality
Detect

As shown before, Typhoon will detect Rafale at 99-168 km with radar, while Rafale will detect Typhoon at 90-195 km with radar. However, both aircraft have capable radar warners capable of detecting, and in Rafale’s case targeting, enemy radars; consequently, neither is likely to use radar. If radar is not used, Rafale will have smaller IR signature due to superior aerodynamics, smaller size and IR signature reduction measures. This however is compensated for by Typhoon having superior IRST, which means that, when using IRST, both aircraft will likely detect each other at approximately same distance. In clear weather, Rafale may have a minor advantage in identification capability due to OSF having a video camera in addition to IRST sensor.

(Even assuming that target is a flat plate and that entirety of the signal reaches it, radar will get back 1/16th of the signal – at best. RCS comparison shows automobile to have an RCS of 100 m2 (likely from the side; from the front, 25-50 m2 value can be expected), whereas Rafale and Typhoon have RCS of ~1 m2 when armed. Consequently, enemy radar receives less than 1/400th of the signal that was sent out.)

Note that radar-based NCTR is also very unreliable (30% identification reliability at best) and can be disabled by jamming or by target maneuvering. Because of this, 82% of the enemy aircraft engaged during Desert Storm had to be identified with help of AWACS, which will not be avaliable against a competent opponents as comlinks will be jammed, and AWACS aircraft will not survive for long in a proper war; remaining 18% were done by NCTR or IFF (and IFF itself will not be useful against a competent opponent). Consequently, IRST is a must for proper BVR engagement even when all other disadvantages of radar (loss of surprise, easily jammed) are ignored.

Engage

Rafale has a cruise speed of Mach 1,4 with 6 missiles, while Typhoon has a cruise speed of Mach 1,5 with same load. Top speed for both is Mach 2,0, limited by air intake design. There is also a difference in service ceiling – 59.055 ft for Rafale and 64.993 ft for Typhoon; while Rafale can achieve Mach 2,0 at 50.000 ft, Typhoon can do the same at 55.000 ft. Higher cruise speed and acceleration will also allow Typhoon to more quickly reach its top speed, and if both aircraft are at same altitude, Typhoon will be better able to regain energy as well as having excess power for maneuvers. Typhoon’s ability to engage at higher speeds and altitudes will give it superiority in missile range over Rafale when using same missile types (e.g. Meteor). This advantage will be at least somewhat negated when using IR BVRAAM due to Mica’s longer range when compared to ASRAAM.

As shown before, both aircraft will be able to engage each other at beyond visual range by using either radar or IRST. Radar performance against each other is fairly similar, and so should be IRST performance. Since radar-guided BVRAAM are easy to jam, Rafale’s usage of MICA IR gives it engagement advantage over ASRAAM/AIM-9XIII equipped Typhoon.

Both Rafale and Typhoon have a selection of RF and IR BVR missiles. However, while ASRAAM has maximum engagement range of 50 km, Rafale’s MICA IR has range of 80 km, giving Rafale range advantage when using IR missiles. This advantage however is reduced by Typhoon’s kinematic advantage in terms of cruise speed and operating altitude. With RF missiles, Typhoon currently has (slight) advantage of using AIM-120C-5 with maximum range of 105 km, compared to MICAs 80 km range; price of this is AIM-120s inferior maneuverability. This will be equalized once both aircraft get 315 km range MBDA Meteor missile. This however assumes equal cruise speed. However, Rafale has cruise speed of Mach 1,4 with air-to-air load, compared to Typhoon’s Mach 1,5. At 40.000 ft (most likely altitude for these cruise speeds), Mach 0,1 difference equalizes 57,3 kts difference. As a rule, missile range from the rear is 1/4 of stated missile range, 100 knot speed advantage reduces missile range 5 to 25%, and effective range is 1/5 of aerodynamic range. Consequently, Rafale with MICA will have effective engagement range of 3,4-16 km against Typhoon, while Typhoon with ASRAAM will have effective engagement range of 2,9-10 km against Rafale. When using Meteor, Rafale will achieve 21-24 km range against Typhoon in rear-quarter attacks, while Typhoon will achieve 26-29 km range against Rafale in rear-quarter attacks.

Defeat the missile / disengage

Once warned of a missile launch, first reaction is to properly position the aircraft for evasion. At beyond visual range, it is oftentimes enough to turn the aircraft away from the missile. At shorter ranges (near-visual and visual range), pilot has to quickly position the missile to the aircraft’s 3 or 9 o’clock and then turn into the missile once close enough. Both of these require high instantaneous turn capability, as well as acceleration / climb to recover lost energy. Rafale has instantaneous turn rate of 30 deg/s, sustained turn rate of 24 deg/s, maximum climb rate of 305 m/s and roll rate of 290 deg/s. Typhoon has instantaneous turn rate of 30 deg/s, sustained turn rate of 23 deg/s, maximum climb rate of 315 m/s and roll rate of 250 deg/s. However, Rafale’s superior transient performance will give it better ability to evade missiles despite similar turn and acceleration rates.

Rafale and Typhoon both have 360* coverage with RWR and MAWS, and frontal-sector-only coverage with radar and IRST. Rafale has 120* angular coverage with RBE-2 and 140* angular coverage with RBE-2AA. Typhoon has 140* angular coverage with CAPTOR-M and 200* angular coverage with CAPTOR-E, giving it superiority when engaging enemies with radar. In particular, CAPTOR-Es extreme field of view will allow Typhoon to maintain target track while engaging in defensive maneuvers, thus reducing enemy’s effective missile range. Unlike RBE-2AA however, CAPTOR-E is not yet in service, which means that both aircraft have equal radar coverage at time of writing of this article, with Rafale having advantage in engagement range. Rafale will also be able to use SPECTRA to keep track of Typhoon during engagement, as long as Typhoon is using its radar.

Another issue is of fuel reserves for maneuvering. Assuming that both aircraft have 40% of the fuel avaliable for maneuvers, Rafale has enough fuel for 4,54 minutes of maximum afterburner while Typhoon has enough fuel for 3,89 minutes of maximum afterburner. However, using a number of maneuvers that can be done for a certain amount of fuel is superior indicator of endurance as higher-performance aircraft can afford to throttle down and extend endurance; this may not have much impact in this case due to aircrafts’ similar performance. Comparison will assume 360* corner-speed sustained turn followed by an equivalent of 10.000 m climb at maximum (initial) climb speed. Rafale will use 15 seconds for a turn, 32,79 seconds for a climb and 0,62 seconds for equivalent of a 180* roll at maximum rate, for a total of 48,41 seconds of maximum afterburner and 5,63 maneuvers. Typhoon will use 15,65 seconds for a turn, 31,75 seconds for a climb and 0,72 seconds for equivalent of a 180* roll at maximum rate, for a total of 48,12 seconds of maximum afterburner and 4,85 maneuvers. As it can be seen, Rafale has higher combat endurance. (Note here that this is based on sea-level figures; at 30.000 ft, actual thrust and fuel consumption will be closer to 1/3rd of those used, which will extend endurance. However, relative figures should stay similar, or slightly change in Typhoon’s favor).

In terms of countermeasures, Rafale has onboard AESA jammers, chaff and flares; SPECTRA is also capable of reducing aircraft’s RCS through active cancellation, though this is likely only an option against older-type radars. It does make it immune to home-on-jam mode of modern missiles. Typhoon has chaff and flares; jammers are located in wing tip pods which also contain towed decoys, and are not directional; this reduces their effectiveness compared to SPECTRA’s directional jamming, but presence of a towed decoy may improve effectiveness against missiles with home-on-jam mode. Typhoon’s IRIS-T may be capable of destroying enemy missiles.

Destroy

In terms of agility, AIM-120C-5 can pull 30 g at Mach 4 (and can hold it for 4,5 s at most), Meteor can pull 40 g at Mach 4, ASRAAM can pull 50 g at Mach 3 and MICA IR can pull 50 g at Mach 4. This means that maximum turn rate is 13,91 deg/s for AIM-120C-5, 18,54 deg/s for Meteor, 30,9 deg/s for ASRAAM and 23,2 deg/s for MICA IR. Comparing this to respective aircraft turn rates (30 deg/s instantaneous for both), it can be seen that both aircraft have a good chance of evading any of the missiles listed.

AIM-120C has warhead weight of 20 kg, compared to 12 kg for MICA and 10 kg for ASRAAM. Consequently, lack of agility is somewhat compensated for by larger warhead weight; still, even assuming a perfectly cylindrical propagation pattern, AIM-120C has 1,4 times as large lethal radius as ASRAAM while latter has 2,22 times as high turn rate.

When it comes to WVR missiles, Rafale carries MICA IR as well while Typhoon carries either ASRAAM or IRIS-T. As calculated before, MICA IR has turn rate of 23,2 deg/s while ASRAAM has turn rate of 30,9 deg/s. IRIS-T can pull 60 g at Mach 3, for 37,07 deg/s ITR, which is significantly superior to either of other two missiles, and actually superior to instantaneous turn rates of either Typhoon or Rafale. MICA has 12 kg warhead, compared to 10 kg for ASRAAM and 11,4 kg for IRIS-T. Overall, Typhoon has significantly superior WVR missiles and more maneuverable IR BVRAAM, while Rafale has advantage in engagement range and warhead lethality when using IR BVRAAM.

In terms of gun lethality, both aircraft are equipped with revolver guns. Rafale uses GIAT-30 while Typhoon uses BK-27. GIAT-30 fires 275 g projectile with 17,5% HEI content (~48 g) at 1.025 m/s muzzle velocity, giving muzzle energy of 144,5 kJ. Projectile has crossectional density of 38,9 g/cm2. BK-27 fires 260 g projectile with 15% HEI content (39 g) at 1.100 m/s muzzle velocity, giving muzzle energy of 157,3 kJ. Projectile has crossectional density of 45,4 g/cm2. GIAT 30 has advantage in rate of fire (2.500 vs 1.700 rpm), allowing it to fire 19 projectiles in one burst, compared to 13 for BK-27. This means that GIAT 30 has per-burst throw weight of 5,23 kg with 0,91 kg of HEI and burst energy of 2,75 MJ, while BK-27 has throw weight of 3,38 kg with 0,51 kg of HEI and burst energy of 2,04 MJ. Overall, higher rate of fire, throw weight / muzzle energy and HEI content gives lethality advantage to GIAT 30, but BK-27 has advantage in effective range due to higher muzzle velocity and denser projectiles.



Air-to-ground performance

Finding targets

Rafale and Typhoon can both use radar, IRST or external pod for finding ground targets. Rafale has Thales Damocles targeting pod and Thales AREOS reconnaissance pod, while Typhoon has Damocles and Litening III targeting pods but no reconnaissance pod. AREOS Reco NG allows Rafale to capture digital imaginery during day and night (IR) and from all altitudes, and feed it to offboard systems. It offers identification range of several tens of kilometers. Both Damocles and Litening offer high resolution IR imaginery and laser designation, and can overall be considered comparable.

Range

Rafale with external air-to-ground weapons has combat radius of 530-630 km on air-to-ground mission (530 km lo-lo-lo, 630 km lo-hi-lo). Rafale achieves 1.090 km combat radius in low-level penetration w/ 12×250 kg bombs, 4 MICA, 3×380 US gal tanks.

Typhoon has combat radius of 601 km in ground attack mission with lo-lo-lo profile, and 1.389 km with hi-lo-hi profile, using external fuel tanks.

Payload

Rafale has major advantage in that it can carry 9.500 kg of external payload, compared to Typhoon’s 7.500 kg. Furthermore, ten out of its 14 hardpoints can hold air-to-ground weapons, while only six of Typhoon’s 13 hardpoints are air-to-ground capable (with a maximum of eight weapons).

Both aircraft have a selection of laser-guided, GPS-guided bombs as well as cruise missiles. Typhoon and Rafale both use Paveway laser guidance kits, while Rafale also has AASM kit which includes rocket boosters for extending range of bombs, and short-ranged laser-guided AS-30L air-to-ground missile.

Both aircraft also use Storm Shadow and Apache cruise missiles. Apache is anti-runway cruise missile with submunitions payload, while Storm Shadow is based on Apache but uses BROACH warhead for taking out hardened targets. Typhoon also uses Taurus cruise missile, which duplicates Storm Shadow’s anti-bunker capability but has longer range (500 vs 400 km) and larger warhead (500 vs 450 kg). Unlike Storm Shadow, Taurus can also be used against ships.

In maritime attack, Rafale has highly lethal Exocet missile, while Typhoon uses US-made Harpoon and Penguin littoral anti-ship missile. Compared to Exocet and Harpoon, Penguin is shorter ranged at 55 km but harder to decoy due to using IR seeker instead of radar seeker head. Rafale however is better suited for high-speed low-altitude flight due to its close-coupled canards.

Rafale is also capable of using ASMP nuclear missile with 60-500 km range (depending on version, target and launch/engagement profile) and 150/300 kt warhead. Typhoon has ALARM anti-radiation missile and Brimstone missile for taking out hardened targets, as well as anti-armor BL-755 cluster bombs, BK90 gliding cluster bombs.

Survivability

Both aircraft have good survivability (relatively speaking, for thin-skinned aircraft) due to twin-engined configuration and usage of overlapping control surfaces (canards).

Rafale’s SPECTRA does offer it survivability advantage against SAMs, but lacks towed decoy. This can be compensated for by using disposable jammers, but Rafale may not use them at present.

Performance in specific missions

In deep strike, neither aircraft has a major advantage due to similar combat radius and weapons, though Typhoon may have some advantage.

In close air support, main requirement is ability to fly and maneuver low and slow in order to engage targets with gun. In this, Rafale has a major advantage due to its close-coupled canard configuration as well as usage of more destructive 30 mm gun. Typhoon partly compensates for thi shortcoming with its superior selection of low-damage guided weapons, but these are still more expensive, less precise and more destructive than old-fashioned gunfire. Both aircraft are however highly vulnerable to small arms fire, meaning that they are unlikely to be used in this role.

In SEAD, Rafale has advantage of superior electronic warfare suite, but it also lacks towed decoy and dedicated anti-radiation missile. As standoff attacks may not be effective due to SAM mobility (as SA-6 needs 5 minutes to pack up and leave, Storm Shadow cruise missile can be employed from at most 80 km for assured effectiveness (1.000 kph speed), despite having nominal range of 560 km), both aircraft will need to utilize low-altitude attacks. In this area, Rafale’s close-coupled canards give it advantage ov reduced gust sensitivity and thus increased maximum speed (though it may still be limited by weapons carried). Radar horizon at altitude of 500 m is located at distance of 65 km. Rafale at low altitude will cover 65 km in 2,8 minutes at speed of 750 knots (4 minutes at 529 knots with heavy air-to-ground load); Typhoon may have similar performance.



Ground suvivability

Ground survivability includes possibility of camouflage and ability to operate from road bases. Latter includes STOL capability, wingspan limits, fuel consumption and ease of maintenance considerations. Wingspan should not be greater than 8,74 meters.

Rafale can take off in 590 meters (rolling takeoff) and land in 490 meters. Wingspan is 10,8 meters. Fuel consumption is 1.330 kg/h (?) kg/h cruise, 7.808 kg/h at maximum dry thrust and 25.126 kg/h afterburning.

Typhoon can take off in 500 meters, which is likely brakes-on takeoff, and land in 700 meters. Wingspan is 10,95 meters. Fuel consumption is 1.492 (?) kg/h cruise, 9.072 kg/h at maximum dry thrust and 30.456 kg/h afterburning.

As it can be seen, there is slight difference in aircraft on-ground survivability in Rafale’s favor. Rafale also requires far smaller maintenance support and far less fuel for operations, leading to reduced logistical footprint.



Conclusion

In air-to-air combat, Rafale is a superior dogfighter while Typhoon is superior at beyond visual range interception. Typhoon’s superiority at BVR combat is somewhat negated by its lack of MICA-class IR BVRAAM.

Rafale is also superior air-to-ground platform, but both aircraft have superiority in certain weapons categories over each other, so either could be a better choice, depending on situation. Rafale however is a better choice for the most important air-to-ground mission – close air support, though it doesn’t come anywhere close to purpose-built aircraft such as A-10.
Hi, Forgive me if I missed it. (Links are hard to find in the mobile version) I don't see you sourcing the blog. You will be pleased to know the writer is a member here if you didn't already.@Picard578
 

Bon Plan

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The built-in ladder is only part of the Marine Versions. For the air force versions, we only have the conventional external ladder. Would be interesting to know the reason behind this modification.
Integrating a ladder add weight. So it's not used when not absolutely indispensable, as on ground air force planes.
 
T

Tarun

Of course. But is it REALLY usefull? It adds weight, complexity, risk of failure....
close coupled canards with Thurst Vectoring Nozzles will be a deadly combination for Rafale but it might raise the Rear IR signature of jet. Weight will not be that much serious concern as fixed nozzle replaced with Thurst Vectoring Nozzle.
 
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halloweene

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Safe to say, Karnad really isn't crazy about this Rafale deal. I don't think anyone has written with the same consistency and intensity against this deal as him.

Rafale canards, aren’t they problems?
Posted on December 10, 2017by Bharat Karnad

(Rafale)
The Indian Air Force has a proud 70-year record of BONE-HEADED acquisition decisions. Among them (1) the purchase of the under-powered British Jaguar DPSA at the expense of the entirely indigenously-designed but supposedly “under-powered” Marut HF-24 Mk-II (aka HF-73) and, in the process, registering of a collateral kill — as intended — of the indigenous Indian combat aircraft industry for nearly two generations (until an indigenous capability was revived from zero baseline with the Tejas LCA; (2) preferring the MiG-23 BN rather than a squadron of the Tu-22 Backfire bombers painted with IAF roundels that were ready to take-off for India had the Air Marshal Sheodeo Singh mission in the early summer of 1971 made the decision to take it as the Russians were urging it to; (3) No Tu-22, so no follow-on aircraft to the medium range Canberra bomber, and hence, disastrously, the complete elimination of the bomber from the IAF fleet; a decision not corrected by leasing the Tu-160 Blackjack; (4) the contretemps over inducting the Tejas LCA and derivatives in large numbers as the main bulk aircraft and, most recently, (5) the Rafale buy.
Because IAF has been so critical about all the things ostensibly wrong with the Tejas, may be we should put the inordinately expensive Rafale combat aircraft, that makes no cost-benefit sense whatsoever, under similar scrutiny, and see all the things structurally and otherwise wrong with this French item.
Let’s focus in this post on the canards on the Rafale. Canards are the rear horizontal wings in normal planes that are moved forward to near the nose for better aircraft control and hence featured in some combat aircraft like this French plane. It can contribute to lift, replacing the horizontal stabilizer and, therefore, reducing overall drag.
So, what’s the problem? Unlike the Su-30MKI — IAF’s front line advanced air dominance/air superiority fighter, which also sports canards, but uses its 2-D thrust vectoring nozzle for braking operations, the Rafale uses its canards. Using the canards thus generates enormous stress and strain on that part of the aircraft frame and can lead to stress fracture in the canards and can start developing cracks. Not sure if the IAF flew the Rafale, during the MMRCA test trials, in a sustained fashion over months in summer to see how the aircraft stacked up against the competition. Had they done so, they’d have witnessed the canards starting to fall apart. Combat aircraft experts give it 2-3 months of regular takeoff and landings in the hot tropical conditions of the subcontinent, for this problem to become apparent. Then what?
Replacing fractured and disabled canards is not an easy thing and when the entire fleet is so afflicted, as it will be, the IAF will have more of the Rafale down, resting in their airconditioned hangars than pulling duty in the skies. Soon, because it cannot be used too intensively or extensively, it will be reduced to another grand and expensive piece of hardware that, in terms of actual ready use, cannot reasonably be counted in the air order-of-battle. So much for the Rafale’s low down-time and quick-turnaround capability!!!
IAF doesn’t see this awful problem heading its way — and that’s par for the course. But the plane’s producer, Dassault, must be licking its chops in anticipation, because every canard repair and refit will require the aircraft to be ferried to the company’s production line in France. One can safely assess the additional costs of this major structural flaw over the aircraft’s lifetime for the 36 Rafales to be in billions of Euros. As Government of India is clueless, it will do what — grin and bear it?
Won’t the IAF then complain about a degraded fighter force and about not enough fighter aircraft in the air? Of course, it will but only to pitch in for more Rafales in the belief that one horrible mistake should be followed up by a cascade more such mistakes!
Incidentally, thanks to the intervention by the IAF in the design stage of the LCA and insistence on a canard on the Tejas — a movement headed by an ex-test pilot Air Marshal M. Matheswaran, who retired as Deputy Chief at HQ Integrated Defence Staff, the entire project was delayed by several years. The insertion of the canard in the original design required a major reworking of it, and the ultimate decision by its designers, who knew better but tried to humour its customer, to do away with it, cost the project time and hurt the LCA delivery schedule. And, which delays were then used by the IAF and Matheswaran in particular (and an ignorant/illiterate press and media), in general, to slam the Tejas.
This same Matheswaran after retirement was recruited by HAL as “adviser” for the LCA programme — why is not clear. He has since jumped ship to something lots more lucrative — a sinecure with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence that has signed up with Dassault for offsets to produce some knick-knacks that will go into the IAF Rafales to be manufactured — minus any transfer of technology — wholly in France. Neat!


Link: Rafale canards, aren’t they problems?

Rarely seen something as stupid. Ever came to his heavily skulled head that the plane is designed for that???
 
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Bon Plan

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close coupled canards with Thurst Vectoring Nozzles will be a deadly combination for Rafale but it might raise the Rear IR signature of jet. Weight will not be that much serious concern as fixed nozzle replaced with Thurst Vectoring Nozzle.
It was studied for Rafale, but the conclusion was that there was more disadvantage than advantage (weight, cost, support, risk of failure).

No effect of TVC on IR signature if all the other parameters are the same (same thrust, same secondary cooling channel)

Rafale without TVC is already as agile as F22, so finally useless.
 

Shashank

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Dec 4, 2017
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Qatar signs on to buy 12 Rafale fighter jets from France

Qatar's ruling emir and French President Emmanuel Macron signed 12 billion euros ($14 billion) in deals during the French president's visit to Doha on Thursday, including the purchase of 12 French-made Dassault Rafale fighter jets with the option of buying 36 more.

The agreement brings the total number of Rafales the Gulf Arab country will have to 36.

Macron is traveling with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who in 2015 as defense minister helped negotiate a deal with Qatar to buy 24 Rafale fighter jets. As part of a deal negotiated two years ago, Qatar exercised its right to purchase 12 aircraft.

France and Qatar also agreed that Qatar would purchase 490 VBCI armored vehicles from French firm Nexter, and signed a transportation deal with France's national rail authority to manage and maintain Doha's planned metro, as well as a light rail system north of Doha.

Qatar announced it would additionally buy 50 Airbus twin-engine A321s with option of buying 30 more.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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transition.wifeo.com
Armament: Egypt is getting closer to a new command of Rafale and Gowind corvettes

Florence Parly goes to Egypt at the end of the week. It will prepare the next visit of Emmanuel Macron planned at the beginning of the year during which Cairo could sign new arms contracts (Rafale and corvettes Gowind).

For France, the Paris / Cairo axis remains very important in the Near and Middle East, a region marked by an extremely unstable geopolitical context. Having received in October in Paris President Abdel Fattah al Sissi, Emmanuel Macron should also visit early next year, in late January or early February, according to our information.

The Head of State had explained to his host that he wanted to continue the relationship of trust between Egypt and France.This is why the Minister of Armed Forces, Florence Parly, has on her agenda a trip to Egypt at the end of this week, which will be used to prepare the next visit to Cairo by the French president.

12 or 24 Rafale in Egypt?
In addition to bilateral relations, Abdel Fattah al Sissi is expected to sign new contracts in favor of French arms manufacturers. Like Qatar, which has recently lifted an option for Rafale 12 , Egypt should also acquire 12 or 24 additional French fighter planes. The number of Rafale is still under discussion between Cairo and Dassault Aviation. In February 2015, the aircraft manufacturer signed in Cairo its first Rafale export sale (24 in total).

In any case, Bercy no longer blocks negotiations at the request of the Elysee. According to our information, it was Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who went in mid-November to bring the new French proposal to Sissi in Sharm el-Sheikh, where the youth forum was being held. The two men maintain very good relations of trust. Negotiations between the Egyptian Army and Dassault Aviation started in early 2016 for the purchase of additional Rafale.

Two new Gowind corvettes?
Naval Group is also in the starting blocks for the sale of two new Gowind corvettes of 2,400 tons, equipped with its fighting system, the Setis, after the four sold in 2014 . Two corvettes that could be made in Lorient. Cairo is still very interested in this acquisition.

For three years, Egypt has launched the modernization of its armed forces with the support of France. Paris is committed to providing new equipment, particularly to the Air Force (24 Rafale, a military telecom satellite) and the Navy (four Gowind corvettes, one FREMM, two BPCs). This represented nearly seven billion euros (6.83 billion) contracts for the French arms industry between 2014 and 2016.

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Aashish

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‘Contract for 36 Rafales include weapons suite superior to the earlier case … higher capability more apt for IAF’
December 13, 2017, 2:00 AM IST TOI Q&A in The Interviews Blog | Edit Page, India, Q&A | TOI

India’s deal with France last year to buy Rafale aircraft has triggered a controversy. Arup Raha, who was air chief marshal of Indian Air Force between 2014 and 2016, talks to Diwakar about the country’s search for a medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA):



As a fighter pilot with long experience, do you think Rafale fully meets India’s operational requirements?

I had the opportunity to fly the F-16 in the US, Gripen in Sweden and Eurofighter in the UK during official visits to these countries as chief of air staff. I also flew the Rafale in India during ‘Exercise Garuda’ with the French air force. These fighter aircraft are very impressive in their performance, equipped with state-of-the-art systems and weapons to execute operational tasks. It is difficult to choose one from the other and only experts can evaluate their capabilities against well-formulated specifications.

Rafale is a multi-role aircraft which can fully meet IAF’s operational requirements in the configuration that has been ordered. It is one of the best aircraft in the world in its class and was selected after a very competitive bidding process and due diligence. India has been able to obtain many add-ons that will substantially enhance combat capability of the aircraft and provide the IAF with technological and combat edge.

Government has claimed that the deal for 36 Rafales is superior in terms of weapons suite and other capabilities than the one negotiated earlier. Do you agree?

The contract for 36 Rafales includes weapons suite much superior to the earlier case and to many contemporary fighters. The weapons suite includes Meteor and variants of MICA (a weapons system) beyond visual range missiles. Considering national security requirements, higher capability of Rafale aircraft ordered now is more apt for IAF.

How do the Rafales for India compare with aircraft supplied to French air force or other air forces?

The Rafales for IAF will have several India specific enhancements, which are not present in Rafales operated by other countries. These capabilities pertain to enhancements in radar performance, advanced electronic warfare suite and ability to operate from high altitude airfields – unique to our terrain and climatic conditions.

There are allegations of violations of Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)? Can you tell us about this intergovernmental agreement (IGA)?

DPP clearly allows procurements under IGA from friendly foreign countries and many procurements have been through IGA. Rules require cabinet approval before entering into agreement. The procurement process in MoD (ministry of defence) is well established and all the details are documented. I am aware that due approvals were taken in this case too and the IGA was signed only after approval of the CCS (cabinet committee on security).

It has been alleged that the agreement to procure 36 Rafales has caused loss to the exchequer.

The most important task of the price negotiation committee (PNC), which is a multi-disciplinary body of professionals with domain expertise, was to achieve a final price which had to be better than the previous Dassault Aviation proposal. A very detailed study was conducted and the PNC bargained hard. Cost comparisons are very complex and these have to be compared at the same datum. Most of the misconception on costs has resulted from comparing them with different base years, as also not having taken into consideration the significant differences in the deliverables. The current procurement costs in the IGA are better than the previous proposal. There were upfront cost reductions, and the IGA catered for better maintenance and weapons package.

Government has been accused of promoting the interests of an industrial group. How did Reliance ADAG come to be associated with the procurement?

The IGA was signed between two sovereign governments and no private individual, firm or entity was involved in the process from the Indian side.

Could another vendor have been brought in to ensure a competitive environment for price discovery and cost negotiation?

In the original MMRCA proposal, MoD had gone through a very competitive bidding and selection process. MoD used the available data on prices and other variables to conclude an agreement in the form of an IGA for the same aircraft. This was perhaps the best way to address the immediate critical shortages of IAF though it fell well short of our requirements.

Can you tell us how the deal marks an improvement, besides price, over what was being earlier negotiated?

First, all 36 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition, as against 18, in a shorter timeframe. Second, advanced training to both air crew and ground crew will be conducted over and above the original offer. Third, enhanced period of industrial support for maintenance of the fleet has been catered for. Fourth, the performance-based logistics covers two squadrons instead of one and the period could be extended to 12 years. Fifth, the contract caters for complete maintenance facilities at two independent locations, taking care of various theatres of operations.

‘Contract for 36 Rafales include weapons suite superior to the earlier case … higher capability more apt for IAF’