F-35 Lightning II vs Dassault Rafale

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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ricnunes

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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 02:30

swiss wrote:
ricnunes wrote:
I believe that question of yours (which I put in bold and underline) has a simple answer to it:
- Currently the F-35 seems to be "off limits" to India. Or putting in other words, currently the F-35 will only be sold to the closest allies, such as NATO countries. Outside NATO, only a quite few nations considered to be close allies to the USA would/will have access to it. Included in these countries I would include Switzerland (a country that I'm sure you know of :mrgreen: ) or Finland and a few more in Europe.
Outside Europe, the only country that could have access to the F-35 but still didn't purchase it would be Singapore.
Note that even countries which I believe are considered to have closer ties to the USA compared to India, namely Saudi Arabia or Kuwait also don't seem to have access to the F-35.


Dont forget Israel. ;) So if this is true, India would have a serious problem.


Well, I didn't mention Israel because it already purchased the F-35. The countries that I mentioned above are countries that haven't purchased the F-35 (yet) but nevertheless have access to purchase it.
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ricnunes

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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 02:43

loke wrote:Little is known about the J-20 in the public domain. However presumably intelligence agencies of India (and the US of course) do have a lot of info that is not in the public domain (although I may be wrong about this). India is not too concerned about the J-20 at present, and they say this is because they have the Rafale. How can we explain this?

1. They are lying; they know that Rafale is no match to the J-20.

2. They are lying; their intelligence agencies are useless, the IAF have limited analytical capabilities, and they have no idea what they are talking about (unlike the experts on this forum.)

3. They have a pretty good understanding of the technological level of the J-20, and they are giving a correct assessment of the situation; the J-20 looks like a 5. gen but capability-wise is more like a 4.5 gen a/c, and thus Rafale which is a modern Western fighter with superior sensors, superior sensor fusion, superior EW capabilities, and superior missiles will be able to handle the present-day J-20. (of course this does not say anything about future Chinese a/c that no doubt will be true 5. gen a/c).

Any other explanations that I missed?


I previously posted another possible/potential explanations for that:

1- To justify the money spent on the Rafale's purchase and updates (by the IAF).

2- Because the Indians probably know that there at a disadvantage and thus resort to "propaganda" in order to claim that their updated Rafale aircraft are better than the best that its rival (China) has (J-20).
I don't know why it seems so hard to believe in this last possibility since other countries, like Russia and even some European countries seem to do this all the time - claiming for example the Su-35s can better the F-35s (in the case of the Russians) or even some Europeans claim that Typhoons or Rafales can better the F-35s...

Resuming, this likely doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the (Indian or other countries) intelligence agencies.
Last edited by ricnunes on 13 Feb 2018, 03:11, edited 1 time in total.
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ricnunes

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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 03:10

tsl256 wrote:While the J-20 Is not much of a threat to the F-22 and F-35, it is a threat to all 4/4.5 gen fighters. It is unwise to underestimate it.


I fully agree.


nutshell wrote:It's not about overestimating(or UNDERESTIMATING non US companies), it's getting so silly to the point where we are now mythicizing Chinese products.


Nobody here is "mythicizing Chinese products".

Some here (me included) are just saying that the J-20 while being inferior to the F-22 and F-35, will likely be superior to any 4.5th gen fighter aircraft and as such they shouldn't be underestimated.
In my opinion it's not hard to conceive that the J-20 will be superior to any 4.5th gen fighter aircraft. Lets, see why:
1- Although not as advanced as the F-22 and F-35, the J-20 is still a 5th gen fighter aircraft.
2- And as such, the J-20 was designed from the very start to have a low RCS design while with the 4.5th fighter aircraft the RCS reduction were more of an afterthought.
3- Just like all other 5h gen fighter aircraft, the J-20 carries its weaponry internally. This is extremely important for an aircraft to be able to maintain a low RCS where it matters - OPERATIONALLY - something that absolutely NO 4.5th gen fighter aircraft can do, again operationally!
4- The J-20 is a very large aircraft so it will be able to mount large radars and other sensor which somehow helps to offset the technological disadvantage that the Chinese might have in terms of sensors over the west, specially when it comes to sensors which equips 4.5th gen fighter aircraft.


nutshell wrote:The same thing with SUs.

Again, you just cant go from copying subpar designs to be cutting edge in the span of 5 years, sh*tting over companies that are in the business since 4 decades.


You can't compare the J-20 (and I would even dare to say the Su-57 as well) with the Flanker family (which I gather is that you mean with SUs?).
The reasons that I posted above, explain quite well (I believe) the reason why.

About your last paragraph above and together with what you previously posted which I quoted below:
nutshell wrote:For **** sake, are we all standing here pretending a nobody like Chengdu AIg, which in its story is nothing but a russian SUs mock up manufacturer, is magically more capable and competent than, say, Airbus and Dassault ?


Well, the "nobody from China" is currently developing a modern fighter aircraft somehow optimized for low RCS which can carry its weapons internally and as such keep a low RCS operationally, so I would say that in this regard they are already more "capable" than Airbus and Dassault which so far developed ZERO fighter aircraft of this kind.
Or at best, I would say that in this regard the "nobody from China" has already a "head start" over Airbus and Dassault...
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 03:51

loke wrote:Little is known about the J-20 in the public domain. However presumably intelligence agencies of India (and the US of course) do have a lot of info that is not in the public domain (although I may be wrong about this). India is not too concerned about the J-20 at present, and they say this is because they have the Rafale. How can we explain this?

1. They are lying; they know that Rafale is no match to the J-20.

2. They are lying; their intelligence agencies are useless, the IAF have limited analytical capabilities, and they have no idea what they are talking about (unlike the experts on this forum.)

3. They have a pretty good understanding of the technological level of the J-20, and they are giving a correct assessment of the situation; the J-20 looks like a 5. gen but capability-wise is more like a 4.5 gen a/c, and thus Rafale which is a modern Western fighter with superior sensors, superior sensor fusion, superior EW capabilities, and superior missiles will be able to handle the present-day J-20. (of course this does not say anything about future Chinese a/c that no doubt will be true 5. gen a/c).

Any other explanations that I missed?


I am sure India is very concern privately over the J-20 and J-31. They are also likely worry that the PAK-FA. (i.e. Su-57) May not be up to the task to counter the aforementioned. So, my guess is India at this very moment is in discussion with the US over the F-35. How serious those discussion are or if the will lead to an order is another matter?
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 13:24

Knock it off for real, if you really believe Chengdou has magically,(because at this point we're talking about magic) acquired the competencies needed to come up with an effective clean sheet design, good for you seriously.

Those chinese have absolutely 0 experience with 5gen from the avionics to the frame; i cant intellectually buy all of this pantomime.

Sorry, i truly cant.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 13:34

Had 126 Rafale aircraft been inducted, it would have been the best thing for the country.


Q How well are we placed against China?

Ans: There is no problem. The IAF is strong. The army on the ground is doing well. We have tremendous capabilities and there is no cause for concern over any threat. But yes, we want replacement of outdated equipment.


https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cit ... 893869.cms

Retired air marshals tend to speak quite freely, at least in democratic countries...!

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cit ... 893869.cms

Had the Rafale not been able to perform the IAF missions, had it not been able to handle the J-20 I fully expect retired IAF personell to point this out. However they are doing the opposite, highlighting how important the Rafale deal is for the IAF.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 13:42

nutshell wrote:Knock it off for real, if you really believe Chengdou has magically,(because at this point we're talking about magic) acquired the competencies needed to come up with an effective clean sheet design, good for you seriously.

Those chinese have absolutely 0 experience with 5gen from the avionics to the frame; i cant intellectually buy all of this pantomime.

Sorry, i truly cant.


I agree --- some people here on the one hand seem to alway point out how incredibly large the gap is between the F-35/F-22 and anything else flying out there and at the same time drawing the illogical conclusion that countries just starting to develop this technology magically will be able to catch up in almost no time...

There is a reason why so far only the US has 5. gen fighter a/c flying. The reason is simply that it is very, very hard. It takes a lot of resources, and a lot of very advanced R&D to make it. You cannot just turn around and make a 5. gen fighter.

As pointed out many times before you cannot eyeball RCS. And you definitely cannot eyeball things like sensor fusion either...

Ricnunes your arguments are internally inconsistent. Just because an a/c looks like a "5. gen" does not mean it has the same technology level than a Western "5. gen" fighter, and in this particular case not even the same tech level as a Western "4.5 gen".

As stated many times before, China in the future most likely will make fighters that will be superior to Rafale. However they are not there quite yet.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 14:39

You don't need to eyeball J-20's stealth because computer simulation modelling analysis has already been done on it and from the shape alone from the frontal aspect it's on average golf ball size (-30 dBsm/0.001 sq m) in the 12 GHz X-Band and with the judicious application of RAM the rest of the viewing aspects can be brought up to around this level. It's basically about F-117 stealthy and look how successful an aircraft that was. As for Chinese competencies we are talking about the world's second biggest economy that aeronautically has copied Flanker bodies and engines. To think it couldn't do a F-22 like copy too especially with the amount of intellectual property theft it indulges in is very wishful thinking. Stealth concepts are also well understood by now, the European military industries and politicians just haven't been bothered to produce a VLO aircraft probably because their current ones are LO when clean and still have loads of airframe life left and money of course.

As for Indian Rafales the proof is in the pudding, only 36 have been bought primarily for the nuclear strike role which justifies their expense. Meanwhile the Su-30mki will remain their frontline fighter until a new stealth fighter is bought. They hoped that would be the Su-57 but they are not happy with the stealth which they obviously think won't be enough against J-20 and F-35. I would not be surprised if eventually they end up with Block 4 F-35 with Meteors. The rest of what Indian military say about Rafale is just chest beating, follow the money on what they actually buy not what they say.
Last edited by marsavian on 14 Feb 2018, 02:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 15:11

Again, you cannot eyeball RCS. Also, 5. gen is about more than just low RCS; it is about IR reduction, it's about sensors, sensor fusion, networking, etc.

As for the Rafale in India: It was the politicians who replaced the original Rafale deal with a much smaller order of 36 a/c. The IAF stated clearly during the whole process that they needed the Rafale and there was no plan B. In particular the suggestion from some politicians that they just buy more Su-30 was not well received by the IAF.

Anyway the IAF is hopeful to get another 36 Rafale, in spite of the very high cost.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 23:44

loke wrote:I agree --- some people here on the one hand seem to alway point out how incredibly large the gap is between the F-35/F-22 and anything else flying out there and at the same time drawing the illogical conclusion that countries just starting to develop this technology magically will be able to catch up in almost no time...


The "incredibly large the gap is between the F-35/F-22 and anything else flying out" is an undeniable reality which didn't start now with the F-22/F-35. This large gap have existed for decades.
You would notice this if you paid attention to what I previously said instead of being busy accusing my arguments of being internally inconsistent.
As such you would notice that the "large gap" is not only between US fighter/combat aircraft and Chinese or Russian ones but the same "large gap" also exists between the US fighter/combat aircraft AND European fighter aircraft.
So who's arguments are being internally inconsistent now?? :roll:


loke wrote:There is a reason why so far only the US has 5. gen fighter a/c flying. The reason is simply that it is very, very hard. It takes a lot of resources, and a lot of very advanced R&D to make it. You cannot just turn around and make a 5. gen fighter.


So according to what you say, in order to develop a 5th gen fighter aircraft there's the need of:
1- Lots of resources - Check for China!
2- Advanced R&D - Also check for China!

(and then you accuse my arguments of being inconsistent, LOL :roll: )

loke wrote:As pointed out many times before you cannot eyeball RCS. And you definitely cannot eyeball things like sensor fusion either...

Ricnunes your arguments are internally inconsistent. Just because an a/c looks like a "5. gen" does not mean it has the same technology level than a Western "5. gen" fighter, and in this particular case not even the same tech level as a Western "4.5 gen".

As stated many times before, China in the future most likely will make fighters that will be superior to Rafale. However they are not there quite yet.


While we cannot "eyeball RCS", anyone who's willing to understand the very basic concepts of modern combat aircraft knows that:
- External stores (Weapons, EFTs and Pylons) increase RCS while Internal stores such as weapon DO NOT increase RCS at all! Rafale and all other 4.5th gen fighter aircraft carries stores externally while the J-20 carries internally - Doesn't need be a RCS expert to reach the conclusion which one will have the highest RCS penalty!
- Lower RCS is also better obtainable if the aircraft is designed from the outset to have a low RCS compared to if having a low RCS is projected/designed as an "afterthought" (which is what happens with all the 4.5th gen fighter aircraft). Guess which one was designed from the outset to have a low RCS and which one wasn't or more precisely in which one had the low RCS requirement seen as an afterthought??
- Resuming the very same source(s) that say "you cannot eyeball RCS" also say that "stealth isn't something that you can add" to an existing aircraft.

So while you cannot "eyeball RCS" in terms of absolute values (square per meters for example) you can "eyeball RCS" in comparative terms specially with the evident and glaring case of the J-20 compared with 4.5th gen fighter aircraft such as the Rafale.

But feel free to continue to call my arguments as "being internally inconsistent" if it helps your rhetoric. :roll: But let me be the bearer to bad news - calling my arguments as being internally inconsistent doesn't change a bit of how things work in the real world...
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 23:54

nutshell wrote:Knock it off for real, if you really believe Chengdou has magically,(because at this point we're talking about magic) acquired the competencies needed to come up with an effective clean sheet design, good for you seriously.

Those chinese have absolutely 0 experience with 5gen from the avionics to the frame; i cant intellectually buy all of this pantomime.

Sorry, i truly cant.


I surely wouldn't say that China has "absolutely 0 experience with 5gen from the avionics to the frame" - the J-20 is a testimony that China has some experience with 5th gen fighter aircraft - however I admit that how much is this 5th gen experience would indeed be a debatable subject.
Now if you have said that Europe has absolutely 0 experience with 5gen from the avionics to the frame this would be about right.
Or resuming, I don't have any problems in saying that China has currently more experience with 5th gen than Europe.

And guess what? Before the US designed the F-22 it also did have 0 experience with 5gen from the avionics to the frame, so as you can see having a previous knowledge about designing a 5th gen fighter aircraft isn't necessarily a pre-requisite to design and build a 5th generation fighter aircraft or else how could the US have build the F-22 to start with?? :wink:
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Unread post14 Feb 2018, 00:01

loke wrote:Had the Rafale not been able to perform the IAF missions, had it not been able to handle the J-20 I fully expect retired IAF personell to point this out. However they are doing the opposite, highlighting how important the Rafale deal is for the IAF.



Call my a cynic. But I bet it has more to do with something being better than nothing. The MMRCA competition basically predates the J-20.

I don't expect them to stop everything and start over considering how long it's been to even get any Rafales. So yeah not shocked.

It would be nothing short of incredible for them to say "we are not going to beat J-20. And we need to find something that does and fast."
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Unread post14 Feb 2018, 00:09

Holy christ.

So even Iran has 5th generation experience am I right?

C'mon this is getting ridicolous.

At least some European companies are dealing with the LO concept. Chengdou just came up out of thin air with a 5th generation shaped simple interceptor that apparently needs to carry up to 4 EFTs.


Then let's talk about engines, software, radars, data link, sensors, weapons...

J20 is 15 years from being credible.


Nope China has exactly this amount of experience with the VLO: 0.

Actually you know what, at least gruppo Leonardo actually had the chance to work on and assembly a PROPER 5th Gen platform.

Chengdou not for sure.

P. S. :
Bullshits mate. The US started to work on LO already with U2 and sr71. Then you had f117.
Its a mofo secolar experience made through trials and errors. Not some "Russian mystique-esque" kind of engineering that made you to casually come up with the Raptor.
Also, hoarding engineers and partnerships all around the world helped a big ****** to ne. Did you heard of some world wide recruitment campaign from Chengdou prior the J20? I didn't.
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Unread post14 Feb 2018, 00:29

With all due respect nutshell, you know what's getting a bit ridiculous?
- Trying to compare the J-20 with this:
Image

Really and please don't get me wrong but I expected better from you...

Anyway, I refuse to address this comparison attempt anymore.


Regarding the rest of your post, I take this chance to address the following:
- The J-20 "apparently needs to carry up to 4 EFTs" the same way that the F-22 "apparently needs to carry up to 2 EFTs". None of them apparently need to carry EFTs operationally except for some very specific roles such as namely as FERRY.
- Knowing that China is a country which is quite secretive and closed and controlled in terms of "information flow", I would say that it's very hard (or even almost impossible) to know for sure how long China has been working on its 5th gen fighter concept. Even countries which are more open when it comes to information like the USA can keep secrets for quite a long time. For example the F-117 "came up out of thin air" (as you put it) in 1989 but the fact was that the F-117 was already in service since 1983 and its development pre-dated this date even further.
So no, I don't believe that the J-20 suddenly "came up out of thin air" - this was likely something that China has been working on it for some time (for how long is the "million dollar question"). Heck, even the PAK FA currently known as Su-57 had its origins in a program which started in early 1990's (before the fall of the Soviet Union if my memory doesn't fail on me).
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Unread post14 Feb 2018, 01:29

loke wrote:Again, you cannot eyeball RCS


APA's analysis is based on computer simulations not eyeballing the shape although the latter can give you fiest order clues too. Did you not bother to read the link I gave ? Here's the method

The Physical Optics (PO) method is used to predict the RCS of complex targets, in this instance the Chengdu J-20 prototype. The three dimensional model for any such target comprises a collection of triangular facets, with shared edges.

The scattered field from each and every visible facet, for a given angle pair {θ, Φ} in elevation and azimuth, is computed using the far field radiation integrals. It is assumed that the wavefront is planar and no parallax errors arise. The contributions from each of the facets are then summed to produce a total RCS for the angle pair {θ, Φ} in question. This method is a high frequency approximation that provides the best results for electrically large targets, and performs well in the specular direction.

The simulation uses geometric self-shadowing of facet calculations, such that RCS contributions hidden by shadowing airframe features are removed. This mechanism does not implement diffraction effects at larger wavelengths.

The PO RCS simulation program implementation has manageable run–times because it requires minimum computer resources. It is implemented in C++ language to provide shorter computation times than earlier Physical Optics simulators, such as the NPS POFacets code, which is implemented in the interpreted Matlab language5.

At this time the simulator does not implement surface travelling wave modelling and associated edge or gap backscatter modelling, or edge diffraction scattering effect modelling. As the backscatter from these, in real aircraft, depends upon leading and trailing edge absorbent treatments, it is a reasonable assumption that in a production design these RCS contributions would be strongly suppressed as a result of effective treatments, and thus the magnitude of these RCS contributions would be smaller than specular returns, from angles other than the peak mainlobes.

The PO RCS simulator generates a raw data output as RCS magnitude values for a specified operating frequency, polarisation, and aspect angle pair {θ, Φ}, in ASCII text format.

The integrity of the PO RCS simulation program was validated by modelling a range of basic shapes and materials coated panels, and comparing against published experimental third party results. The simulator generally displayed very low errors compared to published measurements, typically of the order of the error produced by digitising printed hard copy plots of experimental measurement results.
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