F-35 Lightning II vs Dassault Rafale

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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Sagikor

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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 13:54

Well? :)
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skrip00

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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 16:03

F-35 by a very long shot.
1. Stealthy.
2. Agile.
3. HOBS and HMS.
4. Internal weapons carriage.
5. More internal fuel? (maybe more range as well).
6. DAS and integrated ECM systems.
7. AESA radar.
8. CTOL, CV, and STOVL.

Ummmm...

Out of the three Eurocanards, I think that one is the worst.

The better argument should be F/A-18E/F vs Rafale.
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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 16:28

It's not even fair to compare the two.....F-35
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toan

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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 17:44

EF-2000 v.s RAFALE C

1. Dimensions:
# Fighter: EF-2000 / Rafale C
A. Length: 15.96 m / 15.27 m
B. Span: 10.95 m / 10.80 m
C. Height: 5.28 m / 5.34 m
D. Wing area: 50.00 m2 / 45.70 m2

2. Weights:
# Fighter: EF-2000 / Rafale C
A. Empty weight: 10,995~11,150 kg / 9,400~9,850 kg (*1)
B. Internal fuel: 4,996 kg / 4,700 kg (*2)
C. Max. ext. fuel: 4,000 liters / 9,375 liters
D. Max. ext. load: 7500~8,000 kg+ / 9,500 kg+ (*3)
E. Max. take-off weight: 23,500 kg / 24,500 kg (*4)
*1: EF-2000 is about 11~19% heavier than Rafale C.
*2: EF-2000's fuel is also about 6% more than Rafale C's.
*3: Rafale C's Max. ext. load can be 19~27% more than EF-2000's.
*4: Dassault may increase the MTOW of Rafale to 27,200 kg-class after 2010.

3. Flight Performance:
# Fighter: EF-2000 / Rafale C
A. Max. speed, high level: 2.0 Mach+ / 1.8 Mach+ (*5)
B. Max. speed, low level: 1.15 Mach / 750 kts
C. Operating altitude: 65,000 fts / 55,000 fts+
F. Climb rate, sea level: > 315 m/sec / > 305 m/sec
G. Normal G-limit: -3.0~+9.0G / -3.2~+9.0 G
H. Max. upper G-limit: +12.0~+15.0 G / 11.0 G+
I. Normal FCS AoA limit: 33 degrees / 32 degrees (*6)
J. Wing-load: 297.0~300.0 kg/m2 / 281.2~291.0 kg/m2 (*7)
K. T/W ratio for air combat, sea level: 1.22~1.24 / 1.15~1.19 with A/B ( *8 )
L. T/W ratio for air combat, sea level: 0.81~0.83 / 0.77~0.79 with max. mil. (*9)
*5: The normal upper limit of Rafale's FCS for speed is 1.8 Mach.
*6: Once cancelling the normal restriction of FBWs, Rafale's AoA could reach more than 100 degrees. As for EF-2000, I've only heard the information that EF-2000 had performed the maneuver with the AoA > or = 40 degrees during the flight test.
*7 and *8: EJ-200 already has had the potential to increase 5.5~10% more A/B thrust, and 15% more Max. A/B thrust during the war time, while M88-2 hasn't declared such a capability up to now. Therefore, the difference of T/W ratio between EF-2000 and Rafale C may become much more significant during the war time.
*7~*9: The fighter's weight for air combat = empty weight + 50% internal fuel + MRAAM*6 + SRAAM*2 + pilot and gun shells.

4. Ferry range:
# Fighter: EF-2000 / Rafale C
A. Ferry range: 2,600 km / > 2,100 km (*10)
B. Ferry range: 3,700 km / 3,704 km+ (*11) (*12)

*10: clean fighter with internal fuel only.
*11: Ferry range of EF-2000 with two tanks --> 3,700 km
*12: Ferry range of Rafale C with four tank (6,600 L) + MICA*8 --> 3,704 km


5. Combat radius:
# EF-2000
A. Strike:650km (4 BVRAAM, 2WVRAAM, and 7,000Ib bombs, lo-lo-lo)
B. Strike: 1390Km (Basic loading for air-combat + LGB*3 + ARM*2 + pod*1, hi-lo-hi)
C. Air-combat: 750 nm (1389 km)
D. Air-combat: 100 nm (185 km), 3hrs CAP
E. Combat endurance: 2 h 15 min with six AAMs and external tanks, 280 km from the carrier.

# Rafale C:
A. 1,100 km with three tanks (4,300 L), four MICA AAMs, and twelve 1,000 Ib bombs.
B. 1,480 km with three tanks (6,000 L), four MICA AAMs, and four 500 Ib GBU-12 LGBs
C. 1,830 km with two CFTs (2,300 L), three tanks (5,700 L), two SCALP-EG and two MICA AAMs.
D. CAP: More than 2 hours (Rafale M with six AAMs and three 1,250L tanks, 185 km away from the carrier)

6. Others:
# Fighter: EF-2000 / Rafale C
A. Frontal RCS: 0.1~0.5 m2 / 0.1 to 0.3 m2 (*13)
B. Pylonst: 13 and 3 / 14 and 5, all and wet (*14)
C. Prices: 154 million USDs / 148.5 million USDs (*15)
D. Prices: 80.1 million USDs / 69.5 million USDs (*16)
E. Maintenance: 8 / 7 Man-hours per flight hour.

*13: Dassault declared the frontal RCS of Rafale is 1/10 of Mirage-2000 in 1998~1999.
*14: Wet pylon means the pylon that can carry and use the tank.
*15: The cost of the whole plan / the number of procured fighters.
*16: Fly-away costs of EF-2000 Tranch II for Austria AF during 2007~2009 and Rafale F3 for French governement during 2008~2012.

7. Engine:
  • Engine: EJ-200 turbofans / M88-2 turbofans
  • Weight: 990~1,035 kg / 897 kg
  • Thrust: 20,250~21,370 Ib / 16,840~17,000 Ib (A/B) (*17)
  • Thrust: 13,500~15,525 Ib / 11,240~11,250 Ib (Max. Mil.)
  • T/W ratio: 8.9~9.8 : 1 / 8.5~8.6 : 1
    # Compression ratio: 26 : 1 / 24.5 : 1
  • SFC: 1.66~1.73 / 1.80 (A/B)
  • SFC: 0.74~0.81 / 0.80 (A/B)
*17: Eurojet declared that with minor modification, the maximal A/B thrust of EJ-200 could reach 22,275 Ib class theoretically.

8. Radar:
  • Radar: CAPTOR radar / RBE-2 PESA radar
  • Detective range: 185 km+ / 130~148 km ( *18 )
  • Search angle: +/-70 degrees / +/-60 degrees (Horizontal)
  • Targets of TWS: 20 targets+ / 40 targets
  • Targets of engagment: 6~8 targets / 8 targets
*18: EADS and the UK pilot have declared or hinted that CAPTOR radar could "track" the MIG-29 (RCS = 5m2 class) at the distance of more than 161~185 km away, while Frenchman declared that RBE-2 has the similar detective range as RDY.

9. IRST:
  • IRST: PIRATE IRST / FSO IRST + TV + Laser range-finder
  • Detective range: 148 km+ / 130~148 km (Maximal range)
  • Search angle: +/-90 degs / +/-90 degs (IIR), +/-60 degs (TV)
  • Multi-targets of tracking: 200 targets / Unknown
  • Effective range for image identification : unknown / 55 km
  • Effective range for range measuring : - / 30~40 km (*19)
*19: FSO system has the laser range-finder for range measuring, while PIRATE IRST doesn't have it.
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toan

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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 17:49

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bi ... le=release

French Air Force Enters New Era with First Rafale Squadron
(Source: Rafale International; issued July 3, 2006)

One of the more challenging aspects of Rafale operations is how to fully exploit its capabilities, and especially its range of passive sensors. Pilots, for example, can use its TV/thermal imaging observation system (dubbed Optronique Secteur Frontal, and similar in principle to infrared scan and track) to visually identify other aircraft at ranges of more than 50 kilometres (approx. 30 nautical miles), and transmit this and other tactical data to other aircraft using their MIDS datalink.

Another unique capability, according to Col. François Moussez, the French Air force’s Rafale program officer is that it can fire missiles at targets detected and designated by its integrated Spectra countermeasures suite, again without any need for active transmissions that can give away its position.



http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles/19 ... eiled.html

Studies are under way, however, to reduce the aircraft's external load radar cross-section using cocoon techniques. Some additional work is also due to assess the benefit of active radar cross-section reduction devices.

The cocoon concept is based on placing pylon-mounted stores inside radar absorbent or deflective casings that would be shed before weapon engagement.

The casing would ideally blend the weapon with the aircraft wing to eliminate radar cross-section returns generated by the pylon.
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skrip00

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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 18:06

It has no real useful capabilities. It's outclassed the the SuperHornet in almost every respect.

Also, altogether, there are barely 50 of them available in all of France.

Toan, nice spec work... as always. Can you make one of a comparison between the SuperHornet-E with an AN/APG-79 AESA and IDECM suite and the currently available Rafale M?
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toan

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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 18:40

1. Stealthy:

While Rafale shall not as stealthy as F-35, it may still have the smallest frontal RCS among the three Eurocanards. According to the declaration from a Dassault's engineer in the end of 1990s, its frontal RCS is about the 1/10 of Mirage2000-5's frontal RCS.

In addition, in order to make Rafale become more stealthy, France has begun several projects for RCS reduction such as active cancellation, cocoon technigues, plasma techonology and so on; and some of them (such as active cancellation) may have been incorporated into Rafale.


2. Agility:
Impossible to make comparision now since F-35 hasn't made its maiden flight right now. Besides, Rafale may equip M88-3 engine (which will provide 20% more thrust comparing with the M88-2 engine today) and get a significant improvement in maneuverability and agility after 2012.


3. HOBs and HMS: Rafale will get them after 2008.


5. Yes, F-35 will have much more internal fuel (F-35A: 8,391 kg; F-35B: 6,300 kg; F-35C: 8,901 kg) than Rafale (Rafale C and M: 4,700 kg; Rafale B: 4,300 kg).


6. DAS and integrated ECM systems: Rafale has these kind of equipment right now (FSO and Spectra).

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bi ... le=release

http://new.isoshop.com/dae/dae/gauche/s ... fox3_1.pdf

http://new.isoshop.com/dae/dae/gauche/s ... fox3_5.pdf

http://new.isoshop.com/dae/dae/gauche/s ... fox3_6.pdf


7. AESA radar:

http://www.aviationnow.com/avnow/news/c ... 0306p2.xml
PROGRAM MANAGERS indicate the Post-F3 improvements will be introduced on a staggered basis between 2009 and 2012 in return for the deferral of eight Rafale deliveries in the batch-three purchase. The goal is to introduce the GBU-24 laser-guided bomb capability by 2009, and the active-array antenna and the MWR by the time the last of the 120 Rafales now on order are delivered in 2011-12.
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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 18:46

F/A-18E v.s RAFALE M

1. Dimensions
# Fighter: F/A-18E / Rafale M
A. Length: 18.38 m / 15.27 m
B. Span: 13.68 m / 10.80 m (*1)
C. Height: 4.87 m / 5.34 m
D. Wing area: 46.45 m2 / 45.70 m2

*1: The wing span of F/A-18E is 9.32 m with folded outer wings.



2. Weights:
# Fighter: F/A-18E / Rafale M
A. Empty weight: 13,865~14,007 kg / 9,900~10,460 kg
B. Internal fuel: 8,060 litres / 5,750 liters
C. Max. ext. fuel: 9,080 liters / 9,375 liters
D. Max. ext. load: 8,050 kg+ / 9,500 kg
E. Max. take-off weight: 29,937 kg / 24,500 kg (*2)
F. Max. recovery payload: 4,226 kg / 4,804 kg (*3)
G. Max. recovery payload: 2,268 kg / 2,989 kg, night ~ 3,444 kg, day (*4)

*2: Dassault may increase the MTOW of Rafale to 27,200 kg-class after 2010.
*3: External stores + internal fuel
*4: External stores only



3. Flight Performance:
# Fighter: F/A-18E / Rafale M
A. Max. speed, high level: 1.6 Mach+ / 1.8 Mach+
B. Max. speed, low level: < 1.0 Mach / 750 kts (*5)
C. Mini. flying speed: 125 ~ 135 kts / 100 ~ 115 kts
D. Approaching speed: 142 kts / 120 kts
E. Max. operating altitude: > 15,240 m / 18,400 m
F. Climb rate, sea level: > 254 m/sec+ / > 305 m/sec
G. Normal G-limit of FCS: -3.0 ~ +7.5G / -3.2 ~ +9.0 G
H. Maximal upper G-limit: +10.0 G / > or = +11.0 G
I. Normal AoA limit: 45~60 degrees / 32 degrees (*6)
J. Wing-load for air combat: 398.3~401.3 kg/m2 / 291.0~303.3 kg/m2 (*7)
K. T/W ratio for air combat, sea level: 1.05~1.08 / 1.10~1.15 with A/B ( *8 )
L. T/W ratio for air combat, sea level: 0.67~0.69 / 0.73~0.77 with max. mil. (*9)

*5: F/A-18 E/F's maximal speed is less than 1.0 Mach at the height below 10,000 fts.
*6: Once cancelling the normal restriction of FBWs, Rafale's AoA could reach more than 100 degrees.
*7 ~ *9: The fighter's weight for air combat = empty weight + 50% internal fuel + MRAAM*6 + SRAAM*2 + pilot and gun shells.



4. Ferry range:
# Fighter: F/A-18E / Rafale M
A. Ferry range: 2,346 km / > 2,100 km (*10)
B. Ferry range: 3,054 km / 3,704 km (*11) (*12)

*10: clean fighter with internal fuel only.
*11: Ferry range of F/A-18E with 1,800L tank*3 + AIM-9*2 --> 3,074 km
*12: Ferry range of Rafale M with four tank (6,600 L) + MICA*8 --> 3,704 km



5. Combat radius:

# F/A-18E:
A. 720 km hi-lo-lo-hi attack profile with two 480 gallon tanks and four 1000 lbs bombs plus two Aim-9.
B. 855 km on interdiction mission with three 480 gal tanks.
C. 1230 km hi-hi-hi profile with two AIM-9, four Mk.83 bombs, three tanks, two sensor pods.
D. 800 km for fighter escort with two AIM-9 and two AMRAAMs, internal fuel only.
E. Combat endurance: 2 h 15 min with six AAMs and external tanks, 280 km from the carrier.

# Rafale M:
A. 1,100 km with three tanks (4,300 L), four MICA AAMs, and twelve 1,000 Ib bombs.
B. 1,480 km with three tanks (6,000 L), four MICA AAMs, and four 500 Ib GBU-12 LGBs
C. 1,830 km with two CFTs (2,300 L), three tanks (5,700 L), two SCALP-EG and two MICA AAMs.
D. CAP: More than 2 hours (Rafale M with six AAMs and three 1,250L tanks, 185 km away from the carrier)



6. Others:
# Fighter: F/A-18E / Rafale M
A. Frontal RCS: 0.1 m2 / 0.1 to 0.3 m2 (*13)
B. Pylonst: 11 and 5 / 13 and 5, all and wet (*14)
C. Prices: 57 million USDs / 69.5 million USDs (*15)
D. Maintenance: 15 / 7 Man-hours per flight hour.

*13: Dassault declared the frontal RCS of Rafale is 1/10 of Mirage-2000 in 1998~1999.
*14: Wet pylon means the pylon that can carry and use the tank.
*15: The price of F/A-18 E is 57 million USDs per fighter in 2003, while the average price of Rafale F3 during 2008~2012 is 69.5 million USDs per fighter.
Last edited by toan on 11 Aug 2006, 02:24, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 18:48

This is where I agree with Skrip! (first time ever)

The F-35 by a LONG shot over the Rafale.

Primarily due to its very poor (by current standards even compared to the apg-80 and captor) pesa radar. In air combat... well I highly doubt its ability to hold its own in bvr against previous generation aircraft let alone current.

It may have a good (current) A2G fit however its thrust is also lacking compared to the F-35 and the Typhoon.

Rafale is capable of supercruising... however not in the true sense of the word... it can fly supersonically on mil power, but cannot break through the barrier using just mil power and requires a burst of reheat (unknown for how long) in order to breach the barrier before returning to mil power.

Andy
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skrip00

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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 19:13

Toan, I dont think the F/A-18E/F has an AoA limiter... just a warning if you are about to leave controlled flight. I think.

The other thing is max external load for the SH. It could possibly be 9686kg total with max internal fuel... I think. GlobalSecurity says I'm wrong... but (Max TO) - (Max Int Fuel) - (Empty Weight) = 9686kg...

Unless there are other reasons (like Pylon loading) that the SH doesnt lug the extra 1500kg.

But performance wise... it seems to close to call. Lots of unknowns too. Especially:
*4: Rafale M's Max. ext. load can be 18% more than F/A-18 E's.
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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 19:28

The Rafale seems to be a very capable bomb truck, but I wouldn't want it for much outside that. If it gets the upgrades stuff that was talked about, it will be a pretty competent fighter. If it gets the AESA, better engines, etc. It may even become a very potent fighter bringing it up to the level of other 4.5 gen fighters. It will probably not be as good as the 5th gen fighters (I'm assuming F-35 qualifies, but the requirements for 5th gen are wonky). This is especially true if the 5th gen fighters get some of their upgrades. Is it as good as Tiffy? I think it's a better bomb truck, but probably not a better fighter.

Toan, some questions. Are the max G-loads you quoted instantaneous loads or sustained loads? They seem a bit high for sustained loads. Also, the ranges you quote for the Rafale missions, what form were they (like lo-lo-lo, hi-lo-hi, etc)?
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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 19:32

The effective detecting / tracking range of RBE-2 today is roughly equal to, or a little better than RDY radar, while the frontal RCS of Rafale is around 1/10 of Mirage2000-5's frontal RCS. Therefore, I don't think the Rafale's A-A capability today is so poor as you mentioned above.

However, when facing with the competitors like F-15 + APG-63V3, F/A-18E + APG-79, F-16E + APG-80, EF-2000 + CAPTOR, Su-30/35 + N0-11M or Irbis, and / or MIG-35 + NG Russian AESA radar, it is true that the relative short detecting / tracking range of RBE-2 today is a disadvantage. Therefore, Dassault and THALES are planning and trying to equip modified RBE-2 AESA radar (with 1,000~1,200 T/R modules) to Rafale at the end of 2011, which may make Rafale to become the first Eurocanards that equips AESA radar formally.
Last edited by toan on 11 Aug 2006, 02:55, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 19:52

The F-35 is a 5th gen aircraft because it reflects the latest in design theory. Full datalinks, massive sensor integration, and a design philosophy around maximum performance while having an airframe designed around being stealthy and easy to maintain.

4th generation refelcts aircraft designs from the 1970s and up. 4.5th gen is basically these same conventional designs when upgraded with avionics of the 1990s.
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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 19:58

toan wrote:*9: F/A-18 E/F's maximal speed is less than 1.0 Mach at the height below 10,000 fts.


I don't know about this one. INO says the SH has broken Mach 1 at low levels but I don't know the exact numbers or how long it took to get there.
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Unread post10 Aug 2006, 20:29

As for lacking of thrust...........

Empty weight:
F-35A: 12,000 ~ 12,500 kg
EF-2000: 10,995 ~ 11,150 kg
Rafale C: 9,400 ~ 9,850 kg

Internal Fuel:
F-35A: 8,391 kg
EF-2000: 4,996 kg
Rafale C: 4,700 kg

Thrust (AB/Max. Mil) at Sea-Level:
F-35A: 40,000~43,000 Ib / 28,900 Ib*1
EF-2000: 20,250~22,275 Ib / 13,490~15,525 Ib*2
Rafale C: 16,860~17,000 Ib / 11,245 Ib*2

Weight of Standard A-A configuration:
F-35A: 12,000~12,500 kg + 5,000 kg (internal fuel) + 1,500 kg (AAMs, pilot, gun-shells) = 18,500~19,000 kg
EF-2K: 10,995~11,150 kg + 5,000 kg (internal fuel) + 1,500 kg (AAMs, pilot, gun-shells) = 17,500~17,650 kg
Rafale: 9,400~9,850 kg + 4,700 kg (internal fuel) + 1,300 kg (AAMs, pilot, gun-shells) = 15,400~15,850 kg


T/W ratio at Sea-Level (A/B / Mil):
F-35A: 0.96~1.05 / 0.69~0.71
EF-2K: 1.04~1.15 / 0.69~0.80
Rafale: 0.97~1.00 / 0.64~0.66

Personally, I think the difference of T/W ratio among the three fighters with standard A-A configuration is not very significant.........
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