F-35 Lightning II vs Dassault Rafale

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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Tiger05

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 01:34

There is no doubt that a clean Rafale is a "rocket". However, the Rafale is considered somewhat underpowered when combat loaded especially with heavy loadouts. IIRC this was one of the criticisms that the UAE made when they evaluated the plane. They felt that the Rafale was underpowered compared to the F-16E/F Block 60 flown by the UAEAF and wanted a higher trust M88.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 02:30

f-16adf wrote:https://news.usni.org/2018/06/03/rafale-and-fa-18ef-super-hornet


And according to Super Hornet pilot:

“The Rafale is a rocket,” Lt. Brandon Rodgers from the Golden Warriors of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87 War Party said while speaking with the media aboard Bush.

In general, the Rafale and Super Hornet have about the same maneuverability, Rodgers said. While flying training missions and practicing engagements, Rodgers said the difference has really come down to which pilots know how to handle their aircraft best.

The Rafale is a lighter airframe but doesn’t carry the same type of armament as the Super Hornet. Still, when not fully loaded, Rodgers said the Rafale can pull some moves outside of the Super Hornet’s capabilities.

“When the Rafale is light, when nothing’s on it, it can pretty much stand on its tail and go straight up,” Rodgers said. “When you’re on the deck and watch them go straight up, you’re like, alright, I guess I can’t do that with you. It’s pretty cool.”



And he is referring to the Rafale Marine Version, not the lighter C model.


Hardly, matters if either are clean.......So, how do they perform loaded should be the question??? Unless we're talking about Airshows???
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glennwhitten

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 04:57

As the French pilot says - against to F-22 "guns only" I feel confidant. But if its a missile fight I'm cautious! That's OK for training, but in real life a guns only fight "should be" a real rarity!!
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 06:05

glennwhitten wrote:As the French pilot says - against to F-22 "guns only" I feel confidant. But if its a missile fight I'm cautious! That's OK for training, but in real life a guns only fight "should be" a real rarity!!



Speaks volumes as gun kills are extremely rare!


Plus, many overlook the advantages of Stealth and Sensor Fusion WVR. Which, is a big mistake.... :wink:
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marsavian

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 07:03

ricnunes wrote:
swiss wrote:Very interesting interview with a Rafale pilot.

https://hushkit.net/2019/11/11/flying-f ... t-veteran/


With all due respect and in my humble opinion that interview is a bunch of ego "macho" BS (with one of two interesting points in the middle).
While the Typhoon isn't an aircraft which "caters me the most" saying that a “Typhoon is a joke, very easy to shoot.” when flying any other fighter aircraft is a huge pile of BS!

The fact (IMO, of course) is that aircraft such as Rafale, Typhoon, Hornet, Super Hornet, F-16, etc... have impressive agility and have their strength (and weaknesses) against each other. So when I see anyone saying stuff such as beating "Typhoons with my Rafale like baby seals", "beating Super Hornets with my F-16 like baby seals", "beating F-16s with my Typhoon like baby seals", all I have to say is that's all IMO a big pile of crap (with all due respect to these pilots out there).
So yes, the "Typhoon versus Rafale" statement above is just a big pile of crap/BS (again with all due respect)!


He didn't give much detail apart from saying that he would avoid facing the Typhoon head-on at high altitude with BVR missiles and stated a case where he sent a buddy in silent radar mode to sneak up behind a Typhoon he was facing.* You must remember the Rafale/Typhoon rivalry is intense especially on the French side and has been going on for over 20 years now. Dassault and the French wanted those Typhoon sales which just keep coming by virtual of the larger installed base. They wanted the Rafale to be the 'Eurofighter' not Typhoon and it's a sore point to this day.

* Which is another plus point for F-35 EODAS, less chance of sneak attacks happening successfully.
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f-16adf

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 15:19

"Hardly, matters if either are clean.......So, how do they perform loaded should be the question??? Unless we're talking about Airshows???"


Well, the Navy F-18 pilot was probably inferring that when both jets were clean. And the Rafale holds an acceleration and climb rate performance superior to the SH in that state. The SH's numbers only get worse when you add on those draggy canted pylons. And the Rafale's also to some degree when adding certain load-outs. But the Rafale seems like it remains a far less draggy air-frame than the SH.




Seriously, one needs to give credit (I am American, stating that Dassualt makes very effective combat aircraft) where credit is due. The Rafale is a great 4.5 gen jet. Is it a Raptor? NO. But the fact is that in simulated ACM it, for the most part, has kicked the crap out of nearly all its opponents (Typhoon, F-18E, F-16MLU, F-15C, F-14D, Gripen). All but the F-22 Raptor.
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 16:06

A Marine Lightning driver with whom I corresonded, commented that when fighting Hornets, he could out rate them. If fighting Vipers, he could out radius them. To me this is an underappreciated strength of the F-35 -- it's ability to defeat another aircraft by choosing the playing field. It's not a one trick pony, and a good pilot has a plethora of tools from which to choose to defeat his opponent.

Maybe it doesn't have the best ITR, or the best STR. But ask any Hornet pilot if he'd be willing to give up a little nose pointing ability in exchange for ungodly acceleration, and, oh, by-the-way... a better invisibility cloak than an F-117. Or ask any Viper pilot if he'd exchange a few degrees per second turn rate for Hornet-like nose pointing and (seemingly) better high alpha performance than a Hornet, and more than two-and-a-half times the internal gas, and, oh, by-the-way... an invisibility switch better than an F-117?

If Viper pilots are marvelling at, and asking just what Panther tamers did to their jet... and if this Rafale pilot respects the heck out of F-16s... I think he might be in for a rude surprise when he gets to tangle with some Panthers... (assuming they are flown competently.)
Last edited by steve2267 on 14 Nov 2019, 15:50, edited 1 time in total.
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 post13 Nov 2019, 16:17

ricnunes wrote:
swiss wrote:Very interesting interview with a Rafale pilot.

https://hushkit.net/2019/11/11/flying-f ... t-veteran/


With all due respect and in my humble opinion that interview is a bunch of ego "macho" BS (with one of two interesting points in the middle).
While the Typhoon isn't an aircraft which "caters me the most" saying that a “Typhoon is a joke, very easy to shoot.” when flying any other fighter aircraft is a huge pile of BS!

The fact (IMO, of course) is that aircraft such as Rafale, Typhoon, Hornet, Super Hornet, F-16, etc... have impressive agility and have their strength (and weaknesses) against each other. So when I see anyone saying stuff such as beating "Typhoons with my Rafale like baby seals", "beating Super Hornets with my F-16 like baby seals", "beating F-16s with my Typhoon like baby seals", all I have to say is that's all IMO a big pile of crap (with all due respect to these pilots out there).
So yes, the "Typhoon versus Rafale" statement above is just a big pile of crap/BS (again with all due respect)!


Another statement that doesn't impressed me much is the pilot's first impression about the Rafale's performance which quoted was: "It’s a space shuttle!", this given the pilot's background.
For "Christ sake" the man comes from a Super Etendard! Or course that compared to a Super Etendard the Rafale is a "space shuttle"! Heck, even a F-5 (yes, the Tiger II) compared to a Super Etendard is a "space shuttle".


And then there's finally this "last gem" which in some ways is probably even worse than the "Typhoon comment" above:
So come and get me with your S-400 if I’m at 200 feet above the ground — that’s not going to happen anytime soon. So I’m not afraid

All I can say is LOL! First of all, if he's flying a fighter aircraft like the Rafale at 200 feet he would still likely "eat a S-400 missile up into his tailpipe" since that even the S-300P has a minimum engagement altitude of 25 meters or around 82 feet (which is much lower than 200 feet) - The S-400 won't of course have a higher minimum engagement altitude compared to the S-300P.
Moreover at 200 feet he risks being hit by a bunch of enemy weapons ranging from Assault rifles, to machine guns (including heavy), all sorts of AAA guns and of course SHORAD and Medium Range missile such as Tunguska, TOR, Pantsir, SA-11/17 you name it! Heck at 200 feet he and his Rafale would even be extremely vulnerable to a bunch of Cold War relics such as the Shilka, SA-13 or SA-8, so good luck flying over enemy territory at that altitude!
I guess that he never heard about a conflict/operation called Operation Desert Storm :roll:


I agree with you in the most points. Also curious he has a big respect from the HMCS and AIM-9X of American Fighters. But no words, of the HMCS and IRIS-T, which is also a very capable system.

Although, he admits that the EF is superior at high altitude.
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ricnunes

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 20:03

marsavian wrote:He didn't give much detail apart from saying that he would avoid facing the Typhoon head-on at high altitude with BVR missiles and stated a case where he sent a buddy in silent radar mode to sneak up behind a Typhoon he was facing.* You must remember the Rafale/Typhoon rivalry is intense especially on the French side and has been going on for over 20 years now. Dassault and the French wanted those Typhoon sales which just keep coming by virtual of the larger installed base. They wanted the Rafale to be the 'Eurofighter' not Typhoon and it's a sore point to this day.

* Which is another plus point for F-35 EODAS, less chance of sneak attacks happening successfully.


Of course he didn't "give much detail". If he did then his “Typhoon is a joke, very easy to shoot” rhetoric would soon and quickly fall apart.

Independently of the reason which leads someone to stack a pile of BS, a pile of BS is still a pile of BS! Sorry there's no other way I can read that interview (and the BS keeps piling up with the S-400 statement).
And again, this is coming from someone (me) which doesn't have much love for the Typhoon!



f-16adf wrote:Seriously, one needs to give credit (I am American, stating that Dassualt makes very effective combat aircraft) where credit is due. The Rafale is a great 4.5 gen jet. Is it a Raptor? NO. But the fact is that in simulated ACM it, for the most part, has kicked the crap out of nearly all its opponents (Typhoon, F-18E, F-16MLU, F-15C, F-14D, Gripen). All but the F-22 Raptor.


And seriously one needs to give credit to ALL OTHER similar performing and role fighter aircraft.
The only one not giving credit where it's due was the pilot in the interview posted above/before. Independently of what you or anyone else may say, the “Typhoon is a joke, very easy to shoot” is ultimately a utter lie (or like I previously said, a huge pile of crap/BS).

Did the Rafale has kicked the crap out of nearly all its opponents?? Yes, perhaps. But I'm also pretty sure (I would bet some serious money here) that the Rafale also got its a$$ kicked by many or most of it's opponents as well on other occasions! (that's what usually and in fact happens in all and every dogfight training - sometimes you win, sometimes you lose!).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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ricnunes

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 20:12

swiss wrote:I agree with you in the most points. Also curious he has a big respect from the HMCS and AIM-9X of American Fighters. But no words, of the HMCS and IRIS-T, which is also a very capable system.

Although, he admits that the EF is superior at high altitude.


Well, my speculation/2 cents would be that if he mentioned the HMCS and IRIS-T or the HMCS and ASRAAM then his “Typhoon is a joke, very easy to shoot” rhetoric would/could quickly fall apart.
Or putting into another perspective, his "bashing target" was clearly the Typhoon so there's no way he would mention something that would or could put the Typhoon "head and shoulders" above the Rafale when it comes to dogfight.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 20:49

From what I have read concerning the Rafale v Typhoon, it generally has not gone too well for the EF. Obviously, if the Typhoon was completely invincible they would not be attempting (or contemplating) the AMK redesign. So it is seemingly a bit deficient in certain areas. Is it a accelerating monster? Yes. But that always doesn't win it for you.


Have F-16C and F-18C had kills on Rafales, yes for sure. But assuming equal pilots here, the French jet usually seems the better performer. And it should since both the F-16 and F-18 were basically early 1970's designs (YF-17 Cobra & YF-16). The Rafale is basically a decade to 15 years younger; and technology marches on.
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ricnunes

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 21:41

f-16adf wrote:From what I have read concerning the Rafale v Typhoon, it generally has not gone too well for the EF. Obviously, if the Typhoon was completely invincible they would not be attempting (or contemplating) the AMK redesign. So it is seemingly a bit deficient in certain areas. Is it a accelerating monster? Yes. But that always doesn't win it for you.


Just because you haven't heard much Typhoon victories against Rafale doesn't mean that they didn't happen and that they didn't happen a lot, BTW.
For example I've heard of a E/A-18 Growler victory against the F-22 but I never heard of a F-22 victory against a Growler! Does this mean that the F-22 never won against the Growler? Of course NOT! And I'm willing to "bet a testicle" that there were much more F-22 victories against the Growler compared to otherwise.
The same thing could probably being happening regarding the Typhoon vs Rafale. I strongly believe that there were many Typhoon victories against the Rafale.
Actually it's funny that you hear much more and more often about the victories of the "underdogs" compared to the "top dogs" - This is probably EGO kicking in, in order to try to compensate the "underdog" reality.

This being said, both aircraft share a very, very similar design (Delta wing with moving Canards) and were designed during a similar timeframe so they should have a very similar (turning) performance with the diference that the Typhoon is more powerful in terms of engine power and has a better Trust-to-Weight ratio. So in terms of kinematic performance during a dogfight, I would definitely put my money on the Typhoon in a Typhoon versus Rafale dogfight scenario and not otherwise.

For what's worth I also and personally prefer the Rafale to the Typhoon and I think it's a better aircraft than the Typhoon but definitely not on the kinematics/dogfight metric. For example the Rafale has a better radar (please don't get me with the Captor-E --> when this one is actually in service then we'll talk), better EW and the Rafale is also much better in terms of Air-to-Ground capabilities and as such as IMO a much better multi-role aircraft.


f-16adf wrote:Have F-16C and F-18C had kills on Rafales, yes for sure. But assuming equal pilots here, the French jet usually seems the better performer. And it should since both the F-16 and F-18 were basically early 1970's designs (YF-17 Cobra & YF-16). The Rafale is basically a decade to 15 years younger; and technology marches on.


The problem is that even the pilot above admitted to have some "major problems" when dog-fighting against F-16s. Then there's what Tiger05 correctly said:
UAE complained about the Rafale's lack of performance compared to their F-16s and note that their F-16s (-E/F Block 60) are quite heavier compared to lets say the "most common" F-16's like the Block 50/52.
So having this into consideration there's no evidence that the Rafale is a "better performer" than the F-16 (actually some evidence seems to point otherwise).

Regarding the Hornet, the Rafale can have a better energy/acceleration performance but then again the Hornet is a much, much better performer when it comes high AoA nose-pointing maneuvers (and later Hornet variants are no slouch when it comes to energy maneuvering) so again here, I believe that none cannot say for sure that the Rafale is a "better performer" than the Hornet (for sure better in some metric but not on other or all metrics).

Moreover and despite the Rafale (and do NOT FORGET about the Typhoon) being "15 years" younger compared to the F-16/Hornet, the Rafale/Typhoon use a Delta-Wing design which is a quite old wing design (older than the F-16/Hornet wing designs) using Canards as a "band-aid" to reduce the limitations of the Delta-Wing design. What I mean is that despite an aircraft being developed at a later stage/date doesn't necessarily mean that it uses better technology.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 22:01

f-16adf wrote:From what I have read concerning the Rafale v Typhoon, it generally has not gone too well for the EF. Obviously, if the Typhoon was completely invincible they would not be attempting (or contemplating) the AMK redesign. So it is seemingly a bit deficient in certain areas. Is it a accelerating monster? Yes. But that always doesn't win it for you.
.


Yes read this too. The Rafale seems to better at lower speed ( and altitude), which quite helps in a dogfight.

But all this dogfight story seems to be way overrated. Of course, its good for the pilot skills, and a lot of fun. But when your read interviews with fighter Pilots, no matter 4 or 5 gen, all tell you same. If you end up in a dogfight, you did somting horrible wrong. So a capable sensor suit is far more important today than (low speed) maneuverability.

@ Ric: The F-16 E has also 10% more thrust then a Bl 50. :wink:
Last edited by swiss on 13 Nov 2019, 22:12, edited 1 time in total.
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marsavian

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 22:11

I have never heard of Typhoon pilots brag about dominating Rafales and they are generally not shy in that regard. The only comment I recall is that they prefer to keep their speed high against Rafales like F-15s did against F-14s for pretty much the same reasons as their cornering is better there. So why technically would a Rafale dominate a Typhoon in combat ? Well it does have similar maybe slightly less SEP so could counter the Typhoon's main strength well. It can corner at 11g instantaneously whereas the Typhoon's limit is 9g and when speed is bled off its handling is a lot more crisp and responsive due to the closely coupled canards providing more lift at AoA. Add to this the supposedly better sensor fusion and radar and you could see how Rafale could dominate a Typhoon if the latter was not careful and deliberate in its actions. Obviously the AMK kit will increase the Typhoon's cornering and low speed characteristics as will the more powerful engines that are being mooted.

p.s. I still prefer the Typhoon as a very fast high altitude interceptor/air superiority fighter which was its primary design goal for the UK.
Last edited by marsavian on 13 Nov 2019, 22:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 22:20

marsavian wrote:p.s. I still prefer the Typhoon as a very fast high altitude interceptor which was its primary design goal for the UK.


Absolutely. And in this regard it seems to be the best 4 gen out there, Only matched by the Raptor.
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