F-35 Lightning II vs Dassault Rafale

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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marsavian

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 14:00

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


The only quoted figure on J-20 stealth is 0.05 sq m and Rafale is generally believed to be in the 0.1-1 sq m range without tanks/bombs. So we are talking only of a halving of J-20 relative detection range at best to the Rafale to being only slighty lower. Also if Spectra/OSF pick up J-20 then its stealth has been overcome at least for detection purposes. I fancy any western 4.5 gen AESA fighter combined sensors chances against J-20/Su-57 less so against the more extreme stealth F-22/F-35. J-20/Su-57 are in reality more like 4.75 gen aircraft if 5th gen was born with F-117 stealth level.
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vilters

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 14:19

Most of these "compare RCS" treads are completely bogus. Why?
They always compare "clean" airframes. Do you go to war "clean"?

Compare combat capable aircraft.

Compare RCS values for Rafale and Tifffy and F-35 , Su-57 and J-10 and whatever, but do it fully loaded and combat ready with enough fuel and the proper bomb lay-out for a full on combat mission.

F-22 and F-35 remain stealth.
ALL OTHERS have combat ready RCS comparable to shouting out loud : "Here we are . Here we are !
Might as well paint them orange or pink.
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marsavian

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 14:28

In a real intercept mission 4th gen aircraft would have dropped their tanks and be coming in with just low RCS missiles many of which would be carried semi-recessed. Su-57/J-20 hang out in the 0.05-0.5 sq m range which is not a big enough advantage to be considered very stealthy against a Rafale/Typhoon/Super Hornet/Gripen carrying only missiles at least in a head on encounter although I do concede Su-57/J-20 would maintain their low RCS in all aspects much better.
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gta4

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 14:36

Yes J-20 maybe stealthy because it has internal weapon bays.
However, India and Vietnam have multiple claims of detecting J-20 with Su-30's radar or ground radar station.
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vilters

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 14:45

A combat load is with BOMBS.
Missiles are for A2A.
Ok, some missiles are for for A2G, but real life infrastructure A2G is with BOMBS.
Dropping the tanks each mission is logistically not sustainable for any modern Force. None has enough stock.

Compare RCS for all airframes with a fuel and BOMB loaded "combat load".

PS; The same goes to compare performance. Do it with a full COMBAT LOAD.
You don't go to war clean.
Last edited by vilters on 31 Jan 2019, 14:47, edited 1 time in total.
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mixelflick

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 14:46

marsavian wrote:In a real intercept mission 4th gen aircraft would have dropped their tanks and be coming in with just low RCS missiles many of which would be carried semi-recessed. Su-57/J-20 hang out in the 0.05-0.5 sq m range which is not a big enough advantage to be considered very stealthy against a Rafale/Typhoon/Super Hornet/Gripen carrying only missiles at least in a head on encounter although I do concede Su-57/J-20 would maintain their low RCS in all aspects much better.


But that's an intercept mission, and recent history has shown strike fighters (aka air to ground) use is a lot more frequent. Air to ground load out will have much larger RCS, and be quite visible to enemy fighters, AWACS, ground radars and IADS. They'll be sitting ducks. So while you might possibly remove enemy fighters and AWACS from the battle space, you'll still have to contend with ground radars and IADS.

When it comes to the J-20, I think India's actions are telling. Meaning if the Rafale was competitive with it, why not just buy more Rafale's? The SU-57 is a whole 'nother ball of wax. The Indians withdrew from that project (in part) because its RCS wasn't up to snuff. Apparently, it doesn't convey enough of an advantage in RCS to warrant their further investment. So in that instance, there's evidence to support your position..
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vilters

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 14:53

India and the Su-57.

The Ruskies tried to sell the Su-57 to India.
But:
They could build and deliver the airframes, and India would have to pay NOW, and Ruskies will send the engines in 10 years or so… When perhaps ready. . . .

Come on, even with gallons of Wodka, this is not drinkable.

India and the Rafale.
That was a "Moulins Rouge" deal. There is NO other way to sell a Rafale.
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marsavian

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 16:07

Meaning if the Rafale was competitive with it, why not just buy more Rafale's?


Sticker shock as the price came in higher than expected plus it's already a major political controversy in India over offsets/inducements They basically bought the minimum required to be their new survivable nuclear strike fighters of the last resort. I suspect though they will be avid buyers of NGF/SCAF or Tempest in the future if they are never given access to F-35.
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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 19:43

steve2267 wrote: 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.

I did not say that the F-35 is not superior to the Rafale. My point was just that, on the basis of information available, I am guessing that the F-35 would find it harder to down, say, a 4-ship of Rafale, than, say, 4-ship of F-16 block 50/52 (or Mirage 2000-5). I believe the Rafale would have a higher survivability, mainly due to: better sensors; sensor fusion; better MMI; and a very good EW suite (SPECTRA).

Again: I am not saying that I think the Rafale would have much chance in downing any F-35, but rather that the F-35 would find it somewhat harder to down the Rafale. Missile pk would also play a role of course -- currently the F-35 is limited to 4 internal a2a missiles I believe? pk is anybodys guess, but may be lower in such a scenario than what some may assume...

No doubt the F-35 would have the upper hand and it would end in a "mission kill" for the Rafale. Nevertheless, I believe it would have at least a chance of surviving and escape to fight another day. The classical 4. gen fighter would not, as demonstrated in several exercises against F-16 (and F-15?) already.

I may be wrong of course. I have limited access to classified information.
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steve2267

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 21:35

I think this is pure conjecture on all of our parts here. There is little point in arguing when, as you say, we have no access to classified information.

My point is that it is very likely that, from an F-35 pilot's perspective, there is little difference between clubbing baby seals and young, adolescent seals.
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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firebase99

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Unread post01 Feb 2019, 02:04

vilters wrote:A combat load is with BOMBS.
Missiles are for A2A.
Ok, some missiles are for for A2G, but real life infrastructure A2G is with BOMBS.
Dropping the tanks each mission is logistically not sustainable for any modern Force. None has enough stock.

Compare RCS for all airframes with a fuel and BOMB loaded "combat load".

PS; The same goes to compare performance. Do it with a full COMBAT LOAD.
You don't go to war clean.


This all day. CMD J. Chesire, great author on Quora, former Phantom/Tomcat driver. Had 198 combat missions over SEA, I BELIEVE he stated, not once did he ever drop his tanks due to the above reason.
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mixelflick

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Unread post01 Feb 2019, 15:40

firebase99 wrote:
vilters wrote:A combat load is with BOMBS.
Missiles are for A2A.
Ok, some missiles are for for A2G, but real life infrastructure A2G is with BOMBS.
Dropping the tanks each mission is logistically not sustainable for any modern Force. None has enough stock.

Compare RCS for all airframes with a fuel and BOMB loaded "combat load".

PS; The same goes to compare performance. Do it with a full COMBAT LOAD.
You don't go to war clean.


This all day. CMD J. Chesire, great author on Quora, former Phantom/Tomcat driver. Had 198 combat missions over SEA, I BELIEVE he stated, not once did he ever drop his tanks due to the above reason.


They must have nerves of steel then. If I'm in an F-16 and jumped by two Flankers, I'm punching the tanks. That would be my only chance, at least WVR. If I'm an F-15C, same scenario. Although I've also heard Mountain Home's F-15C's (with wing tanks) spanked Indian SU-30MKI's when flying against them. Better F-15C pilots? I'm sure. But no sensor can accurately predict the competency of the pilots flying those Flankers. Because that's one of (if not the) most accurate predictors of WVR combat.

I wouldn't want to assume they were both low time hacks, who don't know a barrel role from a split S...
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ricnunes

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Unread post01 Feb 2019, 18:53

firebase99 wrote:
vilters wrote:A combat load is with BOMBS.
Missiles are for A2A.
Ok, some missiles are for for A2G, but real life infrastructure A2G is with BOMBS.
Dropping the tanks each mission is logistically not sustainable for any modern Force. None has enough stock.

Compare RCS for all airframes with a fuel and BOMB loaded "combat load".

PS; The same goes to compare performance. Do it with a full COMBAT LOAD.
You don't go to war clean.


This all day. CMD J. Chesire, great author on Quora, former Phantom/Tomcat driver. Had 198 combat missions over SEA, I BELIEVE he stated, not once did he ever drop his tanks due to the above reason.


Absolutely this!

I think people have to stop once and for all picturing scenarios where dropping External Fuel Tanks is some sort of "norm". It is not!
A pilot will only drop External Fuel Tanks when in dire need or basically as a last ditch resort.


mixelflick wrote:If I'm in an F-16 and jumped by two Flankers, I'm punching the tanks. That would be my only chance, at least WVR.


That would be basically among the unique scenarios/settings where you would drop External Fuel Tanks.
That and probably also as a last ditch resort to evading an incoming SAM when everything else failed (EW/countermeasures for example).

You will NEVER (and I repeat NEVER) and EVER drop External Fuel Tanks to for example intercept an enemy faster/quicker something which is mentioned quite often in these forums - I remember for example people picturing a Mig-31 intercept by Typhoons where the Typhoons would carry External Fuel Tanks to fly further (longer range) but they would then drop the External Fuel Tanks in order to intercept the Mig-31's quicker.
Disclamer: This is not going to happen, period. The reason is mentioned above by vilters - it's logistically not sustainable and not enough stocks or resuming: External Fuel Tanks are expensive!
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 post01 Feb 2019, 19:09

ricnunes wrote:You will NEVER (and I repeat NEVER) and EVER drop External Fuel Tanks to for example intercept an enemy faster/quicker something which is mentioned quite often in these forums - I remember for example people picturing a Mig-31 intercept by Typhoons where the Typhoons would carry External Fuel Tanks to fly further (longer range) but they would then drop the External Fuel Tanks in order to intercept the Mig-31's quicker.
Disclamer: This is not going to happen, period. The reason is mentioned above by vilters - it's logistically not sustainable and not enough stocks or resuming: External Fuel Tanks are expensive!

If you want to assume tanks are dropped, then be sure to increase the CPFH by 30,000 per tank over the length of a sortie.
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marsavian

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Unread post01 Feb 2019, 22:19

Sorry ricnunes but in real life combats/intercepts jettisoning of fuel tanks is exactly what happens to unlock the full top speed/maneuverability of the aircraft if required. e.g. Iran-Iraq war

On 6 August, two MiG-25PDs used Turkish airspace to make a sudden appearance near Tabriz. But their plot was foiled by a single F-14A from TFB 1 that was on CAP nearby, its AWG-9 in standby mode to avoid revealing its presence. The Iranian crew finally powered up their radar and fired a Phoenix once the MiGs had flown deep into the AIM-54’s engagement envelope. As with previous MiG-25 interceptions of this kind, the Iraqi pilots reacted rapidly once they realised the danger they were in. Both fighters turned round and picked up speed, but the AIM-54 cut the range and detonated near one of them, damaging its engines and fins. The MiG was mortally wounded but still flying. Its pilot tried to nurse it out of Iranian airspace, but lacked support from his wingman, who had made good his escape.

Not far away, below the scene of this drama, IRIAF Capt Kazem Zarif-Khadem was leading a pair of napalm and AIM-9-armed F-5E Tiger IIs in an attack on Iraqi positions. As usual, Zarif-Khadem was flying at very low level, busily navigating his way over the rough terrain towards the target. Suddenly, he was amazed to see a MiG-25 crossing his path both low and fast. Zarif-Khadem immediately jettisoned his bombs and drop tank, rammed the throttle to full afterburner and turned in behind the stricken MiG. Seconds later, and in a ‘deep-six’ position, he fired both his Sidewinders. The missiles were halfway to the target when the Iraqi pilot noticed the attack and broke. But it was too late, for both AIM-9s hit home and exploded – the pilot ejected and was recovered by the Iraqis. This was the fifth ‘Foxbat’ claimed by IRIAF interceptors, and its loss caused the IrAF to halt similar forays into Iranian airspace.


Yes in a real life war intercept Typhoons would do exactly the same to a Foxhound/Flanker if Mach 2+ speed/9g capability was needed to properly effect an intercept/dogfight as the replacement of a $50-100m aircraft and trained pilot is a lot harder on the opposition then replacement fuel tanks for you plus of course self-preservation would naturally kick in and a pilot wouldn't go into death combat with a speed/maneuverability/RCS handicap if he can change it. The clue is in the name, DROP TANKS.
Last edited by marsavian on 01 Feb 2019, 22:29, edited 1 time in total.
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