F-35 Lightning II vs Dassault Rafale

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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vilters

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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 14:42

The only way to sell Rafales is to take the customer to the Moulin Rouge.
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f4u7_corsair

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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 14:53

Still better than made-up marketo-technical BS backed by soporifc PPTs, not forgetting the fallacious claims that F-35 is the only option to go. German B61s much?
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loke

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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 15:54

gta4 wrote:Rafale and Typhoon are advanced version of Gen. 4 and offer no significant improvement over classical Gen. 4. All Gen. 4 fighters with the same upgrades (AESA, targeting pods, JHMCS...) could have similar or better performance.

To lift a classical 4. gen fighter like the Hornet, F-16 block 50/52 or Mirage 2000, or Gripen C/D up to a 4.5 gen standard will be quite expensive, but perhaps not impossible (doubtful about Gripen C -- the Gripen E is basically to the Gripen C what the SH is to the Hornet; such a significant modification of the previous version that most will consider it a "new" aircraft).

One of the hallmarks of a 4.5 gen (IMHO) are the additional integrated sensors (in particular optical and/or IR sensors), and the advanced sensor fusion that is not present in the 4. gen fighter jets. The sensor fusion in Rafale is not as advanced as the one in the F-35, nevertheless it represents a quantum leap over what was present in the older a/c (which often had no sensor fusion at all, AFAIK). Also they have more RCS reduction measures built into the a/c than the 4. gen fighters. Those RCS reductions measures by themselves are not significant, however in combination with modern, integrated EW systems, it actually makes a difference, since the lower RCS allows for more efficient use of some very specific EW methods. There is a reason why the SH, Rafale, Typhoon, Gripen E all have RCS reductions built into their airframes.

The combination of all this makes the 4.5 gen fighters much more survivable than the "half a generation" older a/c -- unless the latter is rebuilt into a "4.5 gen", probably at a high cost.
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hythelday

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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 19:34

f4u7_corsair wrote:
Oh, wait - Dassault does not bid Rafale against F-35. Guess they know something, huh?

On what planet are you currently living?


Planet Earth. Now name one competition where Rafale stuck out against F-35 till the end? And I don't mean Belgian variant where Dassault decided not to bid in the competition but later offered Rafale in a gov to gov deal, promised outlandish 20 billion offset investment and later slammed Belgians through press for jeopardizing "European cooperation".
Also, prepare your excuses for when Rafale loses to F-35 in Finland in advance. Although I think they pull their regular stunt of declaring that one unfair and rigged too. But wait:

made-up marketo-technical BS backed by soporifc PPT


Is this going to be called the reason? :D
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ricnunes

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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 20:39

f4u7_corsair wrote:Still better than made-up marketo-technical BS backed by soporifc PPTs, not forgetting the fallacious claims that F-35 is the only option to go. German B61s much?


Regarding the "made-up marketo-technical BS backed by soporifc PPTs" you can only be talking about the Rafale, right? :roll:
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 20:57

loke wrote:There is a reason why the SH, Rafale, Typhoon, Gripen E all have RCS reductions built into their airframes.


Yes there is. To give them a a better chance against the "pure"/older 4th gen fighter aircraft and together with this they (4.5th) even get a "bonus" in the PR department. It's funny that some/many accuse the F-35 features as being "PR" while it's indeed the 4.5th gen fighter aircraft features that are closer to being "PR".

loke wrote:The combination of all this makes the 4.5 gen fighters much more survivable than the "half a generation" older a/c -- unless the latter is rebuilt into a "4.5 gen", probably at a high cost.


Yes, 4.5th gen fighter aircraft are more survivable when fighting against 4th gen fighter aircraft. Against 5th gen (namely the F-35) the chances of a 4.5th don't differ much from older 4th gen.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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loke

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Unread post29 Jan 2019, 22:57

ricnunes wrote:
loke wrote:Yes, 4.5th gen fighter aircraft are more survivable when fighting against 4th gen fighter aircraft. Against 5th gen (namely the F-35) the chances of a 4.5th don't differ much from older 4th gen.


Perhaps. Or perhaps not. No doubt the Rafale would not be very successful in trying to shoot down the F-35, and would probably have the same success rate (or failure rate) as the 4. gen a/c. However I suspect (and I may be wrong) that the F-35 would find it slightly harder to shoot down the Rafale than, say, the Mirage 2000. Thus I suspect survivability would be higher.

Anyway, interesting to notice, that the Indian Air Force has expressed their full confidence in meeting the J-20 with the Rafale... at least for the near future. We do not know what information the IAF has access to regarding the J-20, presumably more than most people on this forum.

IMHO the F-35 and F-22 are in a class by itself. The J-20 has some interesting features but is far away from the level of F-35 and F-22. The Rafale is probably inbetween somewhere.
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steve2267

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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 01:53

loke wrote:Perhaps. Or perhaps not. No doubt the Rafale would not be very successful in trying to shoot down the F-35, and would probably have the same success rate (or failure rate) as the 4. gen a/c. However I suspect (and I may be wrong) that the F-35 would find it slightly harder to shoot down the Rafale than, say, the Mirage 2000.

Hmmm... so you're saying that the Rafale is a slightly faster baby seal, compared to a a Mirage 2000? An adolescent seal, then? :devil:

loke wrote:Anyway, interesting to notice, that the Indian Air Force has expressed their full confidence in meeting the J-20 with the Rafale... at least for the near future. We do not know what information the IAF has access to regarding the J-20, presumably more than most people on this forum.

Even if the IAF is fuming over issues with their Rafales, and truly worried about the J-20... I would be shocked for the Indian Air Force to have expressed anything other than their full confidence in their Rafales.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 08:48

loke wrote: Anyway, interesting to notice, that the Indian Air Force has expressed their full confidence in meeting the J-20 with the Rafale... at least for the near future. We do not know what information the IAF has access to regarding the J-20, presumably more than most people on this forum.


After FGFA was "suspended" Indians immediatly claimed there have already been instances when Su-30MKIs dedected J-20 (it is in "India" thread somwhere I think). Of course. And behold, Rafale is also more than enough to counter Chinese threat. Of course, even though they bought 36 instead of 100+. May be true, may be typical indian chest thumping coupled with PR damage control.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 11:01

India is on "Medication" if it believes the Rafale will be adequate to defend against Chinese 5th Generation Stealth Fighters. (i.e. J-20 and J-31)

:doh:
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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 11:06

Honestly, the Indian Air Force is on the verge of becoming a second rate Air Force. If, it doesn't get it's act together and soon. Clearly, not one that could challenge the PLAAF!

:shock:
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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 13:26

Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, the Indian Air Force is on the verge of becoming a second rate Air Force. If, it doesn't get it's act together and soon. Clearly, not one that could challenge the PLAAF!

:shock:


I'm in total agreement. They're outclassed by the Chinese in air to air platforms, weapons and certainly numbers. The notion that the Rafale (or any 4/4.5 gen airframe) is going to handily dispatch a stealth machine built from the ground up is dubious. Because while the J-20 is likely going to be less stealthy than the F-22/35, it's going to be a whole lot more stealthy vs. an aircraft like Rafale. And even IF Indian E/W/ECM (thinking about the Rafale here) is equivalent to their Chinese counterparts, the respective platforms are not.

As far as the claim that Indian SU-30MKI's detected the J-20 flying over China... even if that's true, so what? At the time this allegedly happened, the production J-20 hadn't been finalized. Surely between now and then, they're only going to get more difficult to detect.

China is going to be stamping out J-20's at an accelerated rate just about the time India is procuring what, the Tejas? Or 4.5 gen F-16's? Not going to cut it.. Either India gets the F-35 or they fall behind, simple as that. Bad, bad move putting all of their stealth eggs in the Russian basket. A country that had no experience designing stealth aircraft in the first place. They should have cozied up to Uncle Sam more as soon as their Mig-21/25/27/29 fleet began showing its age. Had they purchased advanced F-15/16 derivatives vs. SU-30MKI's, they might be in a position to get F-35's today. Procuring "advanced" F-16's in 2025 will come about 20 years too late. As it stands, the best they'll be able to do now are up-rated Flankers.

And again, that's not going to cut it in a 5th gen world..
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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 00:59

In answer to my own evaluation objectives, it was obvious the Rafale has earned its omnirole definition, even though I barely scratched the surface of its sensor and weapon capabilities. The aircraft has an incredible level of performance befitting a fourth-generation type, and despite flying a highly complex and demanding evaluation sortie, I felt completely at home in the aircraft and retained full situational awareness. If it could keep me safe, it would also do the same for young first-tourist pilots coping with tactical operations.

The classic definitions of aircraft combat roles really do not do justice to this aircraft; the Rafale is Europe's force-multiplying "war-fighter" par excellence. It is simply the best and most complete combat aircraft that I have ever flown. Its operational deployments speak for themselves. If I had to go into combat, on any mission, against anyone, I would, without question, choose the Rafale.


https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... le-334383/

Rarely (not witnessed at any time during our evaluations) would the pilot ever be unaware of the environment within the 360º “bubble” surrounding the aircraft.

The heart of this data fusion is the MDPU - Processing Unit Data Modules that com-prises 19 LRUs (flight-line replaceable units), each providing a processing capacity up to 50 times greater than the previous generation of fighters. Translation: The pilot has a reduced workload, which enables him to act like a real tactical decision maker, rather than a mere sensor operator.

The key point of this data fusion is to overcome the limitations of any one particular sensor. For example, if it relies on waveforms, frequency, or infrared imaging, and the angle, distance, altitude, weather conditions or even a malfunction pose a limita-tion; other components supplement the formation of the big picture, situationally. The MDPU collects consolidated data from different sources based on various technologies, complementing, organizing and providing information through symbolism refined, reliable and unified.

Among other sensors, the combination of AESA radar with FSO - Front Sector Optronics, embedded in the nose, at the factory - developed by Thales and Sagem for the Rafale - made me feel very comfortable, especially for attesting that the rules of engagement could be easily followed, in terms of friend or foe clear ID. I was al-ways confident in identifying targets to be attacked in the air, on the ground or at sea, thanks to the automatic search and tracking integrated multi-sensor suite. Besides enabling us to execute the mission accurately, Rafale also gave us the ability to document, record, and evaluate, as a Recon.
During our assessments, we performed BVR and WVR engagements with the Mirage 2000 C RDI (analyzed in more detail in Part 3 of this test), where we had the opportunity to confirm the combination of the sensibility of SPECTRA EW with the all-aspect launching and target acquisition of MICA IR. This allowed us to designate the target from any source (EM / IR / Laser Threat Detection - Electromagnetic Threat Detection / Infrared / Laser), when the security bubble around the Rafale was invad-ed, and to execute the missile launch “over the shoulder.” Over the shoulder means that a MICA can be fired at a target located at position six o’clock (behind the aircraft) without changing flight direction.

http://www.defesanet.com.br/rafale/noti ... fference-/

Among all the three NFA candidates, the Rafale was the aircraft which demonstrated the best effectiveness and suitability in the accomplishment of all types of Air-to-Air missions, Recce and Strike missions. In addition, the Rafale made the best impression to the pilots. The strong points of the Rafale was the quality of its sensors such as the PESA radar, the Frontal Optronics and the EW suite SPECTRA. The good data fusion of all its sensors allowed to provide to the pilot a very good Situational Awareness.
(Since then, the PESA radar has been replaced by a much improved AESA; the frontal Optronics has been strongly improved, SPECTRA has been improved and enhanced, and the sensor fusion has been improved further).

http://files.newsnetz.ch/upload//1/2/12332.pdf

Of course all this does not make the Rafale a 5. gen fighter -- however it does mean that it is a very good 4.5 fighter, and sneaking up on the Rafale will be much harder than sneaking up on a Mirage 2000, Gripen C, or a F-16 block 50/52...

The J-20 is very far from having the capabilities of a true 5. gen fighter like the F-35. It is not only the IAF that is making such statements...
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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 01:37

It's nice that pilot felt so "completely at home," with such great situational awareness, and was "so comfortable." The Panther driver killed him 10 minutes ago.

Too bad that chap will (most probably) never fly an F-35.

Too bad also that Billie Flynn works (worked?) for Lockheed Martin. He's the obvious candidate to fly the Rafale and compare it to the F-35. He's French (well, Canaduhian, close enough). He's an awarded test pilot. But unfortunately, no one would believe him if he came out and stated the F-35 was (far) superior to the Rafale after he had flow one.

C'est la vie. C'est la guerre.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 11:03

The pilot you are talking about (Peter James Collins) passed two years ago. He had QT for more than 100 types, was former Red Arrow, Falklands vet. and part of the Harrier VAAC tests...
Pretty impressive CV.
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